“The Tale Of The Fruit Flies”

I guess it’s part of aging, but some distant memories are becoming sharper in my mind. I recently recalled a time in 1968 when I was grinding my way thru my last semester of college at St.Louis U. 

Drosophila Fruit Flies

I was taking a heavy course load including a Genetics class with lab. I would travel down to the old med school on Grand Ave. in St. Louis to care for my “Drosophila Fruit Flies”…. a fancy name for the little annoying flies that hover around your bowl of peaches in the summer. On a side note, sometimes I persuaded a cute little blonde from Louisville, KY to accompany me. I explained how exciting it would be….hmmmm. Fruit flies have a very simple genetic structure, which makes them ideal for genetic research. It is useful to study mutant fruit flies, as their quick reproduction rate allows scientists to observe the advantages and disadvantages of certain mutations.”… at least that’s what’s suppose to happen as you cross fertilize the flies with different eye colors….. I’m sorry to say that this never was that obvious to me. 

Regardless of all the above, one night I went to the lab to discover that my fruit flies were gone. Yes, I’m serious…someone had pitched my fruit flies…gonzo…adios…. arrivederci…sayonara… I think you get the picture.  My many weeks of work were gone. I went to my teacher to tell him the bad news; he seemed sympathetic…yet I ended up getting a D in the lab…. obviously he didn’t believe me.

Is there a point to this BLOG ….. well I’m not completely sure. I do recall that this time in my life was very stressful. Things were piling up. My social life had taken a toll on my grades and I was not going to get into medical school; my draft status would be changing from 2S (student deferment) to 1A (ready to be drafted). I wanted to move on with my life with the cute girl from Louisville… 

My relationship with the Lord was pretty shaky. I did regularly go to mass on Sunday, but  was living two separate lives ….. clinging to God somewhat but living a lot of my life in the world. Yet I now realize that the Lord had his hand on me even in the midst of a lot of chaos, even when I wasn’t giving him much of my life. It’s really amazing. My loving father in heaven was not letting me go. He kept me from succumbing to danger over these next few years, from “falling off a cliff”, despite being close to the edge on several occasions.

It was a few years later when I finally stopped and gave in to his “tender mercies”. In April of 1972, I found myself on my knees asking Jesus to take over my life , to be Lord of my life, to empower me with his Holy Spirit. That’s when my life came alive and the stress and chaos left… that’s when I knew that God loved me and had a plan for my life. And what a great coincidence that the little blonde from the Genetics lab (now my wife) was the one who God used to lead me in that prayer on that April night on Kingsland Ave. in St. Louis. Wow, it’s almost 50 years from that night and I’m happy to say that Jesus is still our Lord.

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