This past week my wife and I got away for a couple of days to Deer Island Point Campground. A friend had kindly offered us the use of their trailer there during the week. It was a lovely couple of days; we saw sunrises and sunsets seals and dolphins and enjoyed the quiet calm of the island.
As I strolled about the grounds early one afternoon I decided to step down a slight slope to the shoreline. But as I ventured to do so I was halted in my tracks by an intricate spider web stretched across the pathway. Had I proceeded I would have received a mouthful of webbing and a tickly spider somewhere down my shirt! But instead I grew fascinated with the spider industriously building his dinner trap.
He backed his way round his net filling in the hub of his wheel of webbing. Front right leg would pull out a short strand from the side inner circle while left leg pulled down a longer strand to join it. Again and again he repeated this process, backing up slightly with each completion… round and round till the whole was filled.
When I visited the spot three hours later the spider and his intricate construction were nowhere to be found. Had some less observant hiker walked through it? Some bird perhaps inadvertently flown into it? Did the hungry spider build anew in another spot? I would never know.
I wondered, how many other mini-dramas of nature unfold daily around a too-busy-to-notice humanity? Is there Someone else watching over it all? Someone Who misses not a beat of it? Someone who feeds the sparrows, beautifies the lilies, and counts the hairs on each head?*
If not, then what is all this unnoticed activity about? Does no one in the vastness of time and space take note? Is there no purpose, no reason, no meaning?
We are all like my day-long spider friend… spinning away at this endeavour or that. “All the labour of man is for his mouth,” wrote Solomon, “and yet the appetite is not filled.” (Eccl. 6:7). Solomon’s concluded there was “nothing new under the sun,” and “all is “vanity.” (Eccl. 1:9, 12). And he’d be correct, except that He did not consider that which goes on above the sun.
Scripture tells us, “There is a God in heaven” (Dan. 2:28), and one day we will each give account before Him (Heb. 9:27). The Christian knows in Christ he has already settled this account and a glorious eternity awaits! As the psalmist David wrote:
“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” (Ps. 39:6-7).
* (See Luke 12:6-7, 24, 27)