It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers gather, internet wide, to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!
I hate waiting. All of the uncertainty, all of that unclaimed time... shudder. I tend to view waiting as a sort of test - an unnamed lesson that must be learned before I can move forward. But a few weekends ago I was able to attend a silent prayer retreat that our church put on, and I learned something about waiting.
A 15 passenger van full of ladies drove about an hour out of the city to a retreat center in the middle of the woods - we spent the evening hanging out, but the next morning from getting-up to lunchtime, we weren't allowed to speak. We were sent forth into the woods with our Bibles and journals, to meet with God.
Every path I went down was strewn with spider webs. Because God often speaks to me through animals, I got the picture on the 8th one I nearly walked through and started intentionally following the spiders. They led me to a tree that was bent into a perfect bench. I sat down, opened my journal, and asked myself, what do spiders do? The answer came almost immediately. They wait. But they don't just sit around doing nothing (which is really my flawed definition of waiting) - every morning they get up and build a new web. They stay close to see if anything gets caught. And if nothing flies into it, they rebuild in a new place the next day.
So when my waiting feels empty, maybe it's not a test that I'm failing, but simply that I'm waiting in the wrong place, whether that's geographically, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally. Am I actually rebuilding my web daily, or am I wondering why my torn and tattered prayer life isn't catching anything? And am I staying close to God, reading His Word, and listening for His voice to provide the answer I'm waiting for?
I've always thought spider webs were beautiful - but now that they remind me of a comforting lesson on The Right Way to Wait, I find them doubly so.
This post is day 7 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here.