DayBreaks for 1/04/18 – Spiders, Flies and the Crowd

Image result for spider web and fly

DayBreaks for 1/04/18: Spiders, Flies and the Crowd

From the DayBreaks archive, 2008:

Ephesians 5:5-6 (NIV) For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

Job 15:31 (NIV) – Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return.

We are easily deceived.  There are probably many reasons for it, but I think the main reason we are deceived is because we want to believe something strongly enough that we allow ourselves to be convinced it is true.  And as Job points out, we don’t necessarily have to be deceived by others – we’re plenty good at deceiving ourselves.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that we’re better than we really are, that we are smarter, more holy, more righteous than someone else and therefore God must like us better.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that we’ve accomplished whatever we’ve managed to accomplish by our own wisdom, smarts and talent – forgetting the Source of the talent.

But what really bothers me these days is how easily the people of God get deceived by the world and the smooth-talking salesmen of perversity.  Evil is made to sound good, and good to sound evil and even hateful.  The world has gotten very good at telling its story – I fear it is much more skilled at telling its story than we are at telling the story of what God has done. 

Once a spider built a beautiful web in an old house.  He kept it clean and shiny so that flies would patronize it.  The minute he got a “customer” he could clean up on it so the other flies would not get suspicious.  Then one day this fairly intelligent fly came buzzing by the clean spider web.  Old man spider called out, “Come in and sit.”  But the fairly intelligent fly said, “No, sir.  I don’t see other flies in your house, and I am not going in alone!”  But presently he saw on the floor below a large crowd of flies dancing around on a piece of brown paper.  He was delighted!  He was not afraid if lots of flies were doing it.  So he came in for a landing.  Just before he landed, a bee zoomed by, saying, “Don’t land there, stupid!  That’s flypaper!”  But the fairly intelligent fly shouted back, “Don’t’ be silly.  Those flies are dancing.  There’s a big crowd there.  Everybody’s doing it.  That many flies can’t be wrong!”

Well, you know what happened.  He died on the spot.  Some of us want to be with the crowd so badly that we end up in a mess.  What does it profit a fly (or a person) if he escapes the web only to end up in the glue?

May you be wise to the ways of the world because you are wiser to the ways of God!

 

PRAYER:  Give us discerning hearts and minds, O Lord, so that we are not led astray by the voice of the masses or by false appearances.  May we heed the warnings that You have given us in Your Word and through Your Spirit.  Preserve and protect us, we pray!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 10/01/13 – The Trembling Spider Web

DayBreaks for 10/01/13 – The Trembling Spider Web

Psalm 19:14 (ESV)  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

There is, of course, nothing that begins to approach the wisdom and truth of Scripture.  But every now and then one comes across some statement that strikes a chord and one can sense the wisdom in the words.  It seems that many believe that no one who is not a believer can ever speak truth, but that’s obviously not the case when one considers the words of King Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Xerxes and others in Scripture who spoke truth but were pagans.

Frederick Buechner is not an unbeliever…he is a highly respected theologian.  Someone sent me an email that had this tag line in it: “Humanity is like an enormous spider web, so that if you touch it anywhere, you set the whole thing trembling…. The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt.  Our lives are linked together.  No man is an island.” – Frederick Buechner

Think about his words.  Think about witnessing a spider web and how it trembles when the spider moves, or a fly lands on it, or even when the gentlest breeze blows upon the silky strands.  What Buechner is saying is simply this: what we do affects the world for good or ill, in a far wider circle than we can ever imagine.

In the movie, Gladiator, the character played by Russell Crowe makes an observation that echoes this, but also expands on Buechner’s words.  It goes something like this: “What we do in this life, echoes in eternity.”  Wow.  There’s a lot of wisdom and truth in those words, too.  And it reminds us that not only do our actions and words here affect this world, but they affect eternity as well.

We might all be well advised to traverse our daily lives with more care and caution.  It doesn’t mean we need to be stern-faced and somber.  It means we need to be thoughtful and wise with everything for every action has ramifications. What is your life weaving?

May God grant us the wisdom to live in ways that bring good, not evil, to time and eternity. 

PRAYER: We often flit through our days rather thoughtlessly and carelessly, Lord.  May we be more attentive to the implications of our words and actions on those You bring into our lives this day, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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