Cleaning Out Spider Webs
Hello Hump Day Readers! Today I want to share an interesting perspective from a book I’ve been reading by Carlos Whittaker titled Kill the Spider. I have to confess the title of the book caught my attention easily because Al and I have been battling spiders up in the welcome booth here in the campground. Those critters can make a web overnight; we take down the web and up it goes again. We both believe they are proving their skills much to our annoyance and they are winning! So, when I was looking in my e-book “stack” and saw Kill the Spider, I knew that had to be a “spiritual tap on my shoulder” to read it. And wow, was that so true. Let me share something Carlos wrote:
(After a busy vacation in Ireland Carlos and his wife almost needed ‘a vacation from their vacation.’ Trying to make small talk didn’t work so…) “I decided to tell her a story about a guy I had met the week prior in London. He was a former atheist who told this hilarious story about playing percussion for a worship leader friend of his while shaking a banana shaker. I’ll spare you the details of the story because, come to think of it, it wasn’t really funny at all; Heather didn’t even smile. In one ear and out the other. “Babe? You get it? A banana shaker?” No response, fine. Forget it. I’m done trying to make small talk. It’s obvious we just need to get home.
I don’t know if I have ever on purpose told a story where the central theme was a banana. Maybe a knock-knock joke in third grade…well anyway, I finished the banana story and Heather did not laugh. Then she cracked open her fortune cookie. Her eyes got huge. “What is it? Good fortune?” I asked. She flipped the fortune over so I could read it. There was only one word written on it: Banana. We both started laughing that sort of incredibly annoying public laughter. How many fortune cookies carry a fortune that simply say banana?
I started having a worship moment right then and there. I almost stood to my feet and led the entire restaurant in “Oceans.” God is here, I thought. He just gave me a fortune with the word banana! “He’s reminding us that He is in the ordinary. He is paying attention. He’s playful,” Heather said. I mean there it is. Do you believe it? I do! God is in the ordinary, everyday moments of life. We just have to be rested or refreshed enough to be able to hear Him! But wait, get this, then I cracked my cookie open. It had one word on it: Moment. I almost shouted out loud “God, are you serious?”
Coincidence over. God obviously was laughing with me. God is in the ordinary. I mean, God was hanging out in my fortune cookie, just smiling at me as I sat in amazement. So if God is in the ordinary — the everyday — then why have I not been taught this? If God still speaks so clearly, why have I missed it? I used to think this stuff was crazy…like saying ‘Bananas, if you will.’”
So readers, what do you think? What spider-webs have caught you into the lie that our God, the great I AM has no time for the ordinary? If you’re like me, it’s often difficult to imagine God in our ordinary mundane things—like fortune cookies—yet who hasn’t experienced one of those “spiritual moments” that come out-of-the-blue and make you laugh or give you comfort and confidence?!
I love it when Carlos says “God is laughing with me.” God IS all the power in the world, yet God loves to be among us, laughing, smiling and yes, in silly ways, entering our conversations, that’s why God gave us his son, Jesus to live and be among us. Why? We are God’s adopted kids and God’s love is never quenched and neither is God’s joy, grace, laughter, mercy, forgiveness, provision—and so much more.
So I’m thinking I need to clean out those spider webs that catch my mind and heart up into the muckety-muck world of society’s woes, the ongoing pandemic, heating climate, wildfires, ying-and-yang relationships, family issues, etc. We’ve never been told life is going to go smoothly all the time, but getting caught in a web that leaves us angry, broken, unsettled, and often wondering where God is in all this mess means we’ve been “bitten by the spider” and are sinking in the pain…friends, this clearly is not God’s intention for us!
I’m closing with a quote from Carlos and I hope you take this to heart. I have already started to do it and it sure brightens my day—and anyone else around me for that matter!
“We believe in a God who can heal our cancer and raise the dead, but we don’t believe we can ask Him for something trivial? This places us in a conundrum. We have to stop thinking God is only in the sky and the heavens. He’s in our cars, in our homes, and in our cafes. We have to pay attention. We get to rest in that truth and keep our eyes open and our hearts attentive.”
“The Lord your God wins victory after
victory and is always with you.
He celebrates and sings because of you,
and he will refresh your life with his love.”
Zephaniah 3:17 [NLT]