You’ve seen them. Those crazy moths flying maniacally close to lights, camping lanterns, and street lamps. Does the light drive them crazy? What makes them fly in such tight, little circles around a burning light that will kill them if they get too close? Is it because they’re drawn to the light? Not exactly.
Writing in The Book of General Ignorance, authors John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, explain what is going on in the moth’s little brain.
At night moths, as well has many other flying insects, navigate by the moon and stars. As they fly in a straight line, the moon remains in the same position to their eyes. In fact, if the position of the moon does change, their little brain tells them they’ve changed course. Now, should the little moth fly past a street lamp, it will probably mistake it for the moon. The problem is, to their eyes the position of the “moon” changes rapidly. Therefore, they interpret this to mean that they are veering way off course. They turn back toward the light to correct their course.
But merely changing direction fails to keep the “moon” in view. They must keep turning to the light to keep the “moon” in its proper position. Without realizing it, they are flying in a circle, getting absolutely nowhere, thinking (based on the position of the light to their eyes) that they’re “on course.”. Misled by a “false light,” they typically perish from the heat of the lamp or from exhaustion.
Think about it. The True Light of our spiritual journey is Jesus Christ (John 1:9). God may use other people to give us spiritual direction and insight. But we must never mistake the light they give for the True Light. Many voices clamor for the attention and allegiance of the believer. Sometimes an abusive personality is behind that voice. For this reason, we must not be misled to our own destruction. Keep the True Light in view and don’t be distracted or misled by phonies. “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
Dear Lord, You are my light and my salvation. As long as I follow You I will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Please keep me from going astray. Amen.
Information from: Mitchinson, John, and John Lloyd. The Book Of General Ignorance. New York: Harmony Books, 2007. p. 2