The other day the dailies carried the story of a casket said to have been discovered in Scotland. It was no ordinary casket. It was believed to contain the heart of King Robert (Braveheart Il) of Scotland. Legend has it that his doggedness was inspired by watching a spider weave its web as he sat in a cave. Amazing the things we learn by just watching!

I was struck by how a little creature like a spider could inspire such a man. I dwelt on the article because I kept asking myself why is the spider associated with doggedness? Why is the spider the example of headstrong persistence?

As a young boy, I was also quite engrossed and fascinated with spiders. I had matchboxes with various compartments to house several spiders—that way, they were prevented from killing each other. I did not at that time appreciate that they possessed the quality of not giving up that easily. I do not know precisely why they fascinated me.

Now, as I look back, I cannot help but recall that famous Nursery ditty that I am sure most of us learned. It goes:

“Eenzy, weensy spider went up to the water spout,
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Up came the sun and dried it all again,
and the eensy, weensy spider went up the spout again.

But, of course, how could I forget this ditty and what it really meant? In my youth, I recall being more concentrated on coordinating the pointer finger of one hand with the thumb of the opposite hand. It did not register deep enough that this was a story of the spider’s persistence. It is a story of not being afraid of danger and obstacles as long as we are clear about our goals. The spider could see the great beyond on the other end of that water spout. Never mind if the rains come. It will not last forever. And when the sun shines, it might shine long enough for him to get to the sunny end and weave his masterfully planned web.

The eensy weensy spider’s story talks about trying our best all the time and not getting waylaid by past mistakes or by external obstacles. The rains may come and wash down our past efforts, but we cannot allow that to dampen our spirits. We cannot sit and sulk or, worse still, allow ourselves to be paralyzed into inaction. Life goes on. We begin again. And we begin again…each time, just like the spider when the sun shines again.

In fact, another scene came to mind. Something happened while I sat at a fast food one day after I grabbed something to eat quickly. I was in between appointments, hungry, and in a hurry, but I could not get my eyes off a very sweet but determined looking little girl. She must have been all of 1 1/2 years old. She stood on the chair and tried to grab food from her father’s plate. The father must have told her at least three times to please sit properly and that she would be given her share. I could tell she understood what her father wanted her to do, but she did not pay attention. Her eyes and mind were so fixed on the food she wanted in her mouth that very instant. She chose to ignore her father’s pleas to please sit properly. That is persistence right there! I gather it has nothing to do with size. She may be a tad bigger than the spider but just as persistent. Maybe, just maybe, that is why little children and spiders get along. They have some things in common.

Then that is why Jesus told us that we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless we become like little children. In a way, I am glad. He used the little children, not spiders, as an example. Although we have much to learn from spiders, I think the children have more to teach us than meets the eyes. They not only teach us persistence; they also teach us that we must depend on our father. That incident alone at the fast food shows clearly that we need to sit by Him as often as possible, maintaining a certain degree of stillness. He will provide us with all we need even before we ask Him. He knows what we want and the best way we can have it too. It just takes a little paying attention. Although, some persistence helps, too, oftentimes.

The next time we get rid of those webs that irritate us, think for a while of the eensy weensy spider. Do not get easily irritated with that seeming obstacle that keeps appearing in the remote corners of the house, which makes the house look less clean or looked after. Who knows, it might just be God reminding us somehow that there is an area in our life we need to work on with more persistence and strength of resolve. He is trying to catch… our attention.

Jesus Our Light

One Reply to “SPIDERS”

  1. Everyday..anything that i see is a reflective moments for me to see what Gid maybe saying to me whatever gets my eyes to look at like a child wondering what a circumstances of things that i begin to reflect upon.my feelings of the day as i open my eyes in wonder and get the strength for the day to go on.

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