Friday, June 4, 2010

Lessons from a filament-flinging spider

By definition my daily doggie walk around the neighboring track is not really a journey; nonetheless, a teacher at heart, I am often on the lookout for a life lesson to be had.

Today for example, as I was completing the loop, I noticed a line-up of spider webs clinging to the spaces in the chain link fence. The first three webs were specimens of artisan perfection, perfectly patterned strands strategically placed for optimum efficiency. With confident expectation the occupant of each waited patiently at the center of its ethereal trap.

The fourth web, however, clung in defiant contrast to its tidy neighbors. Instead of a shimmering flat surface, the center of this lady's web was a tangled ball, a wadded cluster of spherical silk. It was as though, frustrated by her lack of precise programming, she had let loose in a filament-flinging frenzy.

There she sat in the center of her wadded world. I imagined her casting a furtive glance at her fastidious friends, as she waited for that moment of triumph when some inattentive gnat, perhaps confused by the unexpected aberration, stumbled into her outer strands.

I thought about how times I look at others who seem to have their lives more perfectly organized than my own. How come they seem to have a hotline to God, and I struggle to know His will? How come they seem so happy and peaceful, and I beat down bad thoughts and stick my foot in my mouth daily?

How can I be like them when I seem so different?

The truth is I can't. Nor was I meant to be, and the sooner I stop measuring myself against my neighbors, the sooner I can enjoy being who I was created to be--me.

What would happen if today, like my filament-flinging spider, we all gave ourselves permission to sit down in our not-so-perfect wadded worlds and enjoy being the person we were uniquely created to be?

I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.--Psalm 139:14                                                  


  1. It's very funny to read this when I look at you and think "She's so talented, so put together, so well-traveled, so close to God - why can't I be like her?" Sometimes I despair of ever giving up on comparisons. One thing I definitely look forward to in heaven is that we will all receive rewards and NO ONE will be jealous of what anyone else receives! How cool will that be! Love this post, Marcia and the new tag-line. Miss our elevator meetings, though.

  2. Never did master that elevator pitch but got an elevator friend. Thanks, Lori. PS My friend Valorie says she can't get a comment to work here. Do you have to do anything special?

  3. You should go to Settings (under Customize) on your blog and then to the Tab for Comments and under "Who Can Comment?" Click Anyone (includes anonymous users). They don't really have to stay anonymous - they can sign their name to their comment but then people who don't have Google Accounts, Wordpress or AIM have a comment option. Does that make sense?

  4. Loved this Marcia,
    I am so with you . . . how I have to make myself NOT look at those who have it all together while I sit in what you called a "dangled ball, a wadded cluster of spherical silk." That's how I feel sometimes.

    Again, I loved this.

  5. Marcia-
    Ok- so now you have figured out how to post a blog and actually have time to write one... soooo... I think you may be more of an orb weaver than you think. Loved what you wrote and will keep THAT in prayer for myself as well. So thrilled for all that is happening for you.
    God Bless and keep the good words coming!
    Kathy B.


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