A spontaneous thought about spiders and the meaning of life

Today I sat for a while looking out from a height over our neighbourhood and into the distant sunset. I enjoy taking some time at the end of the day just to recollect my thoughts, and mostly, to switch them off. It is in these times that I actually catch up with myself and with God. It sometimes feels as if I am like a coral reef submerged beneath the ocean of life, and all these movements of my soul at the end of the day are like bubbles rising up from the deep and breaking open on the surface. It takes calm waters to notice those bubbles. Today I was enjoying them as I just allowed myself to float. Something caught my attention today though – a little spider weaving its web near my head. This triggered another release of bubbles. I wondered if this spider noticed the view at all – whether it knew or cared how big the world was out there. In some ways I pity the simplistic life of such creatures, but I also envy it, in a way. It looked so content, blissfully unaware of the amazing beauty in the sky, the human mess below it and the collision between it all on the horizon that we have to deal with. I wonder whether it also has such questions and longings bubbling up from within. I guess not.

SpiderWhat this makes me realise, is that spiders were created to be spiders – to make their webs and catch things in them. When they are doing that, they lack nothing. Perhaps a spider sitting in someone’s glass jar somewhere, with no web and nothing to catch in it, would have longings and disillusionment. Perhaps then it would look out into the wide world and wonder what was out there and why it was in there. Today I looked at the spider and considered her ways. I decided that there are many things I was made to do that I am not doing, and many things I am doing that I was not made to do. I’ve decided I want to be like that oblivious spider in the web, that lives like it was created to. Maybe you need to do the same. There is no discontent and no glass bottle there, and perhaps also fewer bubbles…

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4 thoughts on “A spontaneous thought about spiders and the meaning of life

  1. Thanks for sharing your insights. I marvel at how through God’s creation, he brings our thoughts back to him and ultimately for his praise. I was star gazing tonight and reflecting on life when a cluster of stars caught my attention. Gazing at all the stars twinkling in the vast sky of lights, I was reminded how God gathers the stars as he sets them out in the sky. There are millions of stars in the sky yet he knows their names but the best part is that he knows my name and your name.

    • Hi Kristy. So great that you commented, thanks! Do you do a lot of star-gazing? Whenever I do, I wonder why I don’t more often 🙂 I love how calming and quiet it is, and you’re right, it brings us out of what I refer to as “the glass jar” and back into the spider web – known and content. Do you relate at all to these strange metaphors? I ask because I found it funny to be inspired by a spider. I always thought of them as rather strange and unattractive, but looking at that photo again I can actually imagine being an enthusiast of some sort (at least from a distance)…

  2. Hi JC. This is really a cool, profound thought. I really enjoyed reading it.

    On a practical level, I have come to the conclusion that I too should take a time-out daily to collect my thoughts.

    On a philosophical level, I wonder if it can be attained to be absolutely into what you “should be doing” and out of what you “should not be doing”. Even the spider in your case found itself partly out of its natural environment (since it was close to a constructed house, I assume). Luckily for the spider, it managed to adapt just find and do its thing in a less-than-ideal environment. 🙂

  3. Levra,

    You know I must say, taking time-out is feeling harder and more important to do the older I get – I’m not sure if its my personal old age or the worlds new age (full of distractions and disconnectedness). Just a small little note on a scriptural example of taking time out to collect your thoughts which I found very fascinating and encouraging – check out Genesis 24:63! In any case, I think taking some me-time and being self-aware is healthy, especially for young professionals who are plunged into demanding work environments 😉

    On your philosophical angle, I guess that we are each called to live out our faith in the era and culture that we find ourselves, so yes, we live within a fallen world far from the garden, but then it also helps me to remember that I am part of creation, which had a design and a purpose which is still somehow relevant, even if scarred.

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