Sunday, August 1, 2010
Behold, the Spider
The other day I was watching a spider weave her web. Around and around she went. Her legs constantly in motion. The thin thread forming a fragile circle of connections. A breeze lifted her work, yet despite the constant movement, she persisted. Finally, she finished and settled herself in the center of her web. It was perfected and lovely to see.
About thirty seconds after she had arranged herself in the centered position, my daughter's cat walked beneath the web and his tail snagged an anchor thread. The bottom half of the perfected circle sprung up and became a tangled mess just below the central part of the web.
I anticipated that the spider would frantically begin to remake the section of web that had been ruined. Instead, she simply created another anchor thread and in a different location from where the first one had been. It took her about thirty seconds to make this simple repair. She then resettled herself in the center of the web above the sticky tangled threads.
This maneuver took me by surprise. I was somewhat annoyed that her beautiful work had been ruined by a cat's tail. But she was unperturbed. She did what was necessary to sustain herself. She didn't need a perfect web. She learned that the former anchor was a problem and relocated it. She adapted to the hazards of being a webweaver. She taught me a lesson. More than one.
She taught me not to be overly concerned with perfected work. She taught me that as a minister, my work might snag, become messy, untidy, imperfect, but that it is okay. She taught me to be unperturbed. She taught me to learn from what might prove to be problem areas, to learn how to re-anchor and work with and around the mess. She taught me to permit the mess to co-exist with the perfect. And she taught me to always return to center.
Posted by Lisa Gonzales-Barnes