The Mayfly and The Spider


When I opened the blinds to let in the fleeting sunshine of the day this is picture that greeted me. A huge spider web with a spider sitting in the middle of it and a Mayfly fluttering desperately at the glass pain.

The Mayfly I stood and watched this little dance for a few minutes. As I watched I began to imagine what each little creature in this scenario was experiencing. The spider was perched on her web perfectly still…just waiting. Not making the slightest of move which would cause vibration in the web and possibly expose it’s boundary.

The Mayfly was frantically trying to find escape through the window. She continually had her back to the spider – impending danger – desperately struggling to find escape. Not fully realizing that should she get through my window she would be flying into another form of death. Mayfly meet flyswatter! I found myself trying to coax the Mayfly to turn around. Face the spider head on so it could find the boundary of the spider’s web and fly off unharmed.

Why did this little scene catch my attention? Not quite sure! As I watched though I began to recognize some of our own human behavior in these intriguing little creatures.

We often times find ourselves struggling to run from what we feel is impending danger. We can sense just over our shoulder there is a tangled web of doom just waiting to trap us so that we can be devoured by the awaiting spider of our current situation. Not fully realizing the window or door, we are so desperately trying to bust through, holds its own danger as well. If we could just muster up enough courage to turn around, face our spider and it’s web, we could see the limitations and boundaries of what we fear. We would be able to identify where our freedom lies and get our peace back.

Several years ago I heard this great acronym for the word fear:

False Evidence Appearing Real.

When I began thinking about the fear in the Mayfly I got a really clear picture of that acronym. In her fear she saw the web as completely blocking her escape. Therefore trapping her and causing a certain death. It also diminished her ability to think clearly. She thought her freedom was through the glass where she could escape; not fully recognizing it was just a bigger trap which housed a greater danger than the spider’s web.

Isn’t that how fear works in us too? We imagine this circumstance or situation has got us completely hemmed in from behind, so we began banging on whatever door is directly in front of us. Ultimately telling ourselves this has to be from the Lord. We take that scripture “knock and the door shall be opened” out of context. We fail to look at it in its entirety.

In Luke 11 Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray. He tells them to ask, seek and then knock. We, like the Mayfly, start banging on any old door in front of us without following the first two steps; ask and seek. Which ultimately leads us to the door we are to knock on.

I know for me there have been times in my life when I have so desperately wanted to run from the impending doom I felt looming over my shoulder. I would tire myself out from banging on whatever door was in front of me. I would find myself exhausted and begging the Lord to just open the door and get me out of it. Then I would find myself mad at Him because the door remained shut. When my exhaustion, begging and anger failed to get me the desired result I would relinquish control and start at the beginning step…asking Him what I needed to do, seeking His face in the midst of it all.

More times than not I often heard Him simply say, “Turn around I have provided a way out but it’s not through THAT door. Your fear has hemmed you in.” Most assuredly EVERY TIME I have thanked Him for keeping the door closed so my fear could not conquer and control me.





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