On a summer evening back at the end of July, I was enjoying a relaxing, quiet moment on my back deck just before the sun prepared for its descent. It had cooled down significantly from the hot, oven-like day it had been and the pre-dusk hour offered low humidity and minimal bugs – a pleasant and welcoming ambiance to watch the sunset.
About an hour earlier, I had spent a bit of time watching a dainty, green-throated hummingbird visit the new feeder we had bought and hung up on the gazebo. Somehow, in a very short amount of time, it had found the source of the nectar and enjoyed a bit of dinner on us. As the sky grew darker, my tiny friend stopped visiting and perhaps went to its home to settle in for the evening. Most of the bird traffic had ceased by that point, though I did still hear their occasional calls.
As dusk encroached across the sky, I noticed some movement in the shadows. To my left, a spider had dropped down from the edge of the gazebo roof and was starting to prepare its snare. To my right, another spider had begun to do the same. No alarm clock or horn marked the start of their work, but they were wired to know when the best time was for them to catch their meals and so they began the work to prepare the traps. I sat for a while watching them as they unhurriedly dropped and climbed, attached and released. Methodical and structured were their movements, creating a work of art that would help them live another day.
When the birds’ day is done, the spiders begin theirs. Each of them with their own respective tasks to do at their own time.
I found this to be a good reminder of our own individual paths. We each have personal roads to travel - lives that can only be navigated by us. And though we are surrounded by so much noise and competitive stimuli, we have no need to compare ourselves to someone else. The spider would have no use of the nectar from the feeder – that meal wouldn’t satisfy. And the hummingbird would not be able to live off of insects – it wasn’t created for that. Its body needs nourishment of another kind.
Maybe a close friend has achieved a certain goal or has set on a journey that we wish we were on. As much as we may imagine being in their place, their path is specific to them - their time for their journey is different than ours. Who is to say that if we were to walk their path, it wouldn’t bring us destruction rather than joy? In them was instilled a unique purpose and motivation - same with each of us. Just as they are walking down their personal trail, we each have ours to travel on – each in own time to do that which God has equipped us to do. We need only to focus on our own task and the right timing offered to us.
Maybe we are the hummingbird or maybe we are the spider. Know that the path we were intended to walk will be what brings inner peace and everlasting joy. Let’s set our eyes on Him and our ears to hear His still, small voice saying “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). Stay on course and be willing to do what is required to catch the “meal” that God will provide.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 (ESV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”