If you spend any time at all outside, you have likely walked into multiple spider webs. Walking in the woods gives this experience in even greater degrees. It is a benefit if someone is walking with you and they go through the trail first. They walk through all of the webs and get covered and you can continue to walk on, mostly untouched. Leo is not helpful in this way, though. He is shorter and therefore doesn’t clear out any of the potential face plants in the middle of a web. I also find it interesting how you can walk the same path twice and hit the same web…twice. I find spiders fascinating, the ultimate weavers.
As much as the webs annoy us (and potential gross us out), can you imagine how much more frustrating it is to the spider? They have spent their time intricately weaving a trap so they have dinner. They have produced this beautiful display that is sure to provide for the family. And then, along comes a big human who knocks it all down – no dinner, no web. What we perceive as slightly annoying and an inconvenience is really an entire plan of the spider. We tend to perceive things only from our perspective. We look at how things benefit or do not benefit us. We really only see what we want to see, rarely taking a glimpse into someone or something else’s perspective. Most of the time, we don’t even try. We can easily become a society only consumed with getting what we want, when we want it.
Seeing things differently takes effort and time. It requires us to give up a singular focus of me and my wants. It means spending time listening, paying attention, and willing to become uncomfortable to understand where someone else may be. I think this is one of those lessons Jesus was constantly trying to teach. He taught the story of the Good Samaritan to faithful Jewish followers to show a different perspective. He walked to the edges of society with people who likely had never been there before. He sat at tables with people no good religious person in his day would have ever been. He placed himself in situations where a new perspective could be viewed and experienced. He challenged his followers to see beyond themselves. He still challenges us to do the same.
How might we be so caught up in our own lives that we miss the lives of those around us? How might we be trapped in our own perspective and fail to see all those around us? How can we become more like Christ, challenging our views and stepping outside of our own wants? We may just find we walked right into the work of another.
14 As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
15 And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery