Everyday Parables .... tenacity

Everyday parables – Tenacity

I love to walk in the summer. Unfortunately, if I get out real early, my face and hands intercept the spun webbings of fastidious little creatures. I usually vocalize a bit of an “argh” in frustration while I swipe at the sticky threads on my flesh. I dream of inventing a device to attach to my dog's back so that as he careens down the trail in front of me, he can wipe out the webs at my face level.

What surprises me is that often, on our way back, we intercept a fresh web in the same place. And this time, instead of being frustrated, I am astonished...amazed...and in awe at these little multi-legged creatures who so quickly and tenaciously rebuild their web.

Tenacious:

  1. Holding fast: characterized by keeping a firm hold: tenacious grip on my arm; tenacious of old habits.

  2. Not easily dispelled or discouraged; persisting in existence or in a course of action

synonyms - persistent - tough - stubborn - dogged - obstinate

They don't have a pity-party – at least not one that I'm aware of. They just get back to work. Why are they not easily dispelled or discouraged? Why are they so doggedly persistent in re-spinning their broken webs? Is it because they're lives depend upon it (for food)? Or is it because they are unable to just be idle?

In awe of these creatures this week, I sat on my deck and watched a spider rebuild a web that I had disturbed earlier by watering. He climbed up to a high spot and released a sticky string of webbing into the air – a total move of faith if you ask me. The spider flings it out hoping it will attach somewhere...anywhere...not really able to predict or plan or control. If it does, then she can begin crawling across that anchored tightrope line and begin creating her masterpiece. Though spiders spend a lot of energy in constructing their webs, they don't have to spend a lot of energy chasing down their food. Pretty clever, if you ask me.

And it's such a paradox to me – how the spider efficiently plans a web but it starts with a random (and seemingly inefficient) cast of her silken line into the breeze. Though she is planning to build her web, she cannot actually do her due diligence to plan it out perfectly or consistently. She climbs high and releases her “fate” to an arbitrary wind. Yet she keeps on flinging....and rebuilding...as often as she needs.

As Jesus invited his disciples to consider the lilies of the field and birds of the air instead of worrying, I wonder as I consider these spiders, how does this parable connect to my own life?

Immediately, as I ask this, I have the sense of support raising...a mode that I'm in right now due to a long drop off of monthly supporters. Any one who has had the daunting privilege of support raising knows it requires a lot of tenacity. And the kind of flinging-a-web-into-the-wind-and-wonder-where-the-heck-it's-going-to-land sort of faith. It is so easy to get discouraged. It is so easy to “cling tenaciously” to fear or discouragement, when really, I need to tenaciously keep flinging my line out to see where it will land, and how God will provide. I can set things into motion with a phone call or email or letter, but where it goes from there...we'll see.

Enough of blogging...I've got to get back to some thread flinging...and yes...to fling it out there...there is a donate tab on this website. If you've been blessed by reFresh, perhaps you would consider making a donation toward our ministry. Just flinging to see where it lands...

 Lord, grant me the grace to have a tenacious faith that keeps flinging it out in trust of you! Replace my fearfulness, that causes me to tenaciously cling to safe, predictable paths, with a fearlessness grounded in Your abundant care for me...even when the webs get disturbed day in and day out.