Of Spiders and the Pursuit of Perfection

This morning – just a few minutes ago, as a matter of fact – I stepped outside to send chec 1 to walk the dog, and saw a true wonder of nature.  A garden spider had industriously constructed a beautiful web between the young ash tree and the window frame by the back door.  A perfect web.  Every strand of silk evenly spaced, the spokes ruler-straight, the rounds in lovely circles.  It is at least 30 inches across, and Miss Spider is still working on it.  There is fog here this morning, and the strands of silk are lightly touched with dew; I wish my house was not white so I could preserve it on film.

Amazing to me, that God creates the living things of the world, humans excepted, without free will – so that they can only do what is expected of them, instinct rules their every action.  Our spider is doing what God created her to do, and in doing so she has given us a glimpse into the Wisdom Who created us.

Do we have the potential to achieve perfection?  Of course, but because of our free will our nature is a bit flawed.  We must choose to do the things for which God has created us.  We must open our hearts and souls to God, seek His Will, and strive to always conform to that Will.

I guess some might be discouraged by the perfection of the spider’s web, the perfectly timed notes of a robin’s song, the industrious community life of bees as they work to provide honey for their young and us.

Not I.  Instead, the contemplation of the perfect meshing of instinct and God’s purpose inspires me to renew my efforts at achieving holiness.  But for the Fall, we would all find it easy to be perfect, for our wills would be conformed to God at all times, and all our choices would be good.  We would still have the ability to choose, to be sure, but those choices which would take us away from unity with God would seem distasteful and tawdry – while those uniting us more closely with Him “in Whom we live, and move, and have our being” would be as shining beacons in the night, sweetly scented and beautiful as gemstones.

The logo of our homeschool is a spider (a garden spider, actually) on the pages of an open book.  I chose this design to evoke the perseverance and industriousness of the spider, and the knowledge to be found in books, especially the Holy Scriptures.  This morning’s nature moment was a perfect opportunity for me to have a little teaching moment as I softly called the checs out to see the wonderful sight God provided for us.

May we all practice the perseverance of the spider, and to borrow a phrase from a brand of luxury car, work constantly at the ‘relentless pursuit of perfection.’

May God in His infinite Goodness richly bless you today and every day.

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One response to “Of Spiders and the Pursuit of Perfection

  1. Beautiful. Amen.