ship water line - smallWritten By: Patrick Sullivan

Our family has made the effort the last couple of days to head out to one of the nearby lakes to swim, relax and recharge. And as much as I expected to only be in the water a little bit, I have found that the cries of my children to “…get in and play!” have been all too tempting.

Several times however our fun was almost interrupted by some terribly large flies. These nasty things felt it necessary to land on our heads and bite at will.

It was during one of these onslaughts that I thought about one of the demonic forces. (Strange I know but with a name like ‘Beezebul’ or lord of the flies, hopefully you can understand.) The demon or at least its name has a strange and complicated history.

Since ‘zebel’ or dung was among the names given to describe idolatry (that principal sin) in the ancient world many found it appropriate that this demon was somehow attached to it. After all, it was the god of Ekron (or ‘the Fly’ as Josephus calls him) that Ahaziah consulted instead of God in 2 Kings 1:2.

And if the connection between flies and dung are as commonly experienced elsewhere as they are here then, St. Jerome’s choice to call Beelzebul ‘dominus muscarum’ seems to make a lot of sense.

Yes, I was doing all of this thinking when I should have been playing or a least swatting. But I wasn’t the only one.

Gabriel was staying under the water just to keep away from them, and Tobias was already wrapping himself firmly into a second towel.

Thankfully, Hannah saw where things were going and so decided to rescue our playtime. “Just keep swimming!” she yelled as she jumped back into the water.

She was right! Sometimes we let the terrible things in our lives distract us. We let the disappointments, the let downs and the sad days throw us off of the plan. But remember whether it is Beelzebul or a bad hair day a bunch of pesky flies or personal sin that you can never seem to overcome just keep swimming because that strong man Jesus has already conquered the world.

Keep swimming friends.

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Check out Patrick’s apostolate at www.evango.net

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