In Praise of Fleas?

But have you known a dog to praise his fleas?

Wm. Butler Yeats

I hate fleas! As I write this, I have literally sprayed myself into the corner of my house, more specifically to my office. Earlier today I gave each cat a dose of flea medicine, so they are currently cleaning themselves profusely while staring at the closed door with suspicion. I am resisting the urge to scratch myself just at the thought of it. In the meantime, the flea spray is doing its job in the rest of the house, so I am writing this blog post while I wait for the two hours to pass.

So, I began to ponder what God might have me learn from this aggravation. I came across the little poem by Yeats. He was talking about refusing to praise bad poets who imitated his poetry because they were like fleas living off of his work. The same could be said of Christians who claim righteousness as if they had done something to deserve it. The only reason we have any righteousness at all is because of Christ within us.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

We have salvation because of God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23), and if we have anything to brag about, it is in Christ alone (Galatians 6:14). So, when I am tempted to think more highly of myself than I ought to, I will try to remember these fleas. You see, the cats didn’t bring fleas into my house. I did. The cats are indoor cats and never go outside. The fleas came in on me and infested my house and my cats. I am to blame.

Now, while I am dealing with the consequences, I still wonder what I can take away from this situation. Well, these little critters have motivated me to do what I should have already done, which is a deep spring cleaning. Maybe a spiritual spring cleaning is in order as well as we try to move past all of these trying times. You see if I had made sure the shop cat had been treated before the first flea bit me, then I wouldn’t be spending my day off fighting these pests. What will it take to motivate you? For your sake, I hope it isn’t fleas.

2 thoughts on “In Praise of Fleas?

  1. I don’t like fleas either! We have an outdoor day and it’s a battle to keep those pesky fleas off her. I love the way you take this aggravation (fleas) and turn it into a meaningful lesson. Nature (even biting bugs) can teach us important lessons, like “spring cleaning” our hearts. Thanks for the chuckle and the lesson. Wishing you a blessed and flea-less day.


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