I always made the assumption that my car would be safe in the garage. After all, I had a garage with no windows, a door that shuts and locks, plus a motion detector light on the outside. The other night was like every other night. I pulled into the garage, shut the door behind me, left the windows slightly open since it was so hot inside the garage and went into the house for the night.
The next morning, I opened the garage door and got into the car as always. Everything seemed normal so I suspected nothing unusual as I backed out of the driveway and headed downtown to my day job. However, as I entered the heavier traffic around Hudson Bridge/Eagle’s Landing, I caught a movement in the rearview mirror just behind my right shoulder. Instinctively, I glanced back and my heart froze as I saw the intruder.
If there is one thing in this world that will cause me to run screaming like a schoolgirl, it is a spider. And, that’s what was dangling from the overhead light of my car on its sinister web of death. I could tell that its eyes were fixated on me as the victim du jour on today’s menu. Not knowing how it happened, I managed to exit the expressway without creating havoc, opened the door and left my SUV to the spider. He could have it. After a moment or two when I began to breathe somewhat normally, I peered in through the side window and realized that the creature of horror was not the size of a basketball (which is what I first imagined), but more like a fingernail. Well, actually more like a pinky toenail. Since I live in the neighborhood and knowing that friends and neighbors could be driving by, I decided I needed to maintain some dignity and rid my car of the beast. I had an umbrella in the back, so I retrieved it quickly and started to poke the spider through a partially opened window. It glowered at me a time or two, then started to run up it’s own web for safety. With one more well timed poke, I made contact and to my horror, the spider jumped onto the umbrella and began racing up through the window and toward me. Now, the screaming schoolgirl entered the picture; slinging the spider-laden umbrella down the bank, I jumped back into my car and took off feeling quite victorious and smug because I had defeated this threat to my life, limb and the world. I’m da man!
Now, how many times do we allow the little things that creep (no pun intended) up on us in life to totally destroy our moments? Like I said, in reality this spider was quite tiny, but to me, it was huge and threatening. I allowed it to disrupt my morning and throw my stress levels into overdrive. Do you wake up with a fairly enthusiastic attitude about facing the day and then the coffeepot doesn’t work and it instantly throws you into an ill mood? When your well designed plans for the day are abruptly changed, can you handle it without getting all snarky? Do you have a struggle getting yourself or your family ready on Sunday mornings to the extent that you are so frustrated that even if God whacked you with a bat, you still wouldn’t feel His presence? Do you obligate yourself to so many things that you become so stressed that you cannot enjoy any of them? Does that one annoying person always seem to find you at the restaurant and whine on and one so that you can’t even digest your food? We are told in I Peter 5:7 to “give all your worries and fears to God, because He cares for us.” (HCB) Philippians 4:6 says “don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything.” (NLT) God is concerned with every aspect of our lives from the major things to the tiny irritating things. I think that even includes spiders.
And for today, that is the gospel according to Jimmy.