A story is told of two fellows, Lone Ranger and Tonto, who went camping in the desert together. After eating and having refreshments they got their tent all set up and fell sound asleep.
Some hours later into the night, Tonto wakes The Lone Ranger and says, “Kemo Sabi, look towards sky, what you see?”
The Lone Ranger replied, “I see millions of stars.”
“What that tell you?” asked Tonto.
The Lone Ranger pondered for a moment, then said,
“Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, it tells me Saturn is in Leo.
Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning.
Theologically, it’s evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
“What’s it tell you, Tonto?”
Tonto was silent for a minute, then said, “Kemo Sabi, you dumb-ass. It tells me someone has stolen our tent.”
This story has been told elsewhere. However, there is always one person hearing it for the first time.
What lessons can you glean from this story?
One thing swiftly comes into my mind: We see things differently. We perceive situations differently. The way we comprehend issues of life is pretty interesting. You can take ten people to the middle of a big city, make them stand at the same place and ask them to write or draw what they see. You will be surprised at how wide-ranging their observations will be.
The polymath society of the Greeks and their unparalleled ingenuity made them have explanations for everything happening under the sun. According to one of their myth, a girl named Arachne could spin so well that the goddess Athena became jealous and turned her into a spider. This marked the genesis of these amazing creatures that are never, at any given time and on average, more than 10 feet away from us.
The Bible in Proverbs 30:28, states that “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings palaces.” (KJV). Modern translations render the original Hebrew word as ‘Lizard’, but this is beyond the scope of this post.
Reading in context reveals that God wants us to learn vital lessons from certain small animals. Proverbs 30:28 is about the resilience of creatures with seeming disadvantages. The ants overcome their weakness by planning well for the future (30:25), the conies overcome their feebleness by living in well-protected areas (30:26), and the locusts overcome the lack of an order-giving leader by every individual carrying out its own responsibility (30:27).
While most of us fear spiders, some find them a tastier delicacy. I wouldn’t mind termites. I think spiders taste similar to termites. Talk of people who feed on what others fear. Can you feed on what others fear? Can you take on challenges that scare other people? Can you overcome the Fear Factor?
For the purpose of garnering the best lessons, we will not wander into the territories of tarantulas and black widows so as not to become their victims. Entering the jungle, too, will be tantamount to getting beyond the latitude of the Scripture portion stated above. Because of these reasons, we will stray but stay in the house and talk about House Spiders briefly, and particularly their webs.
These arachnids spin irregularly shaped webs in various places within a home, including windows, ceiling corners and above or beneath fixtures. They are all over. They see opportunities all around them. They notice opportunities where other animals would not. We are talking about the power of observing, seeing, and perceiving differently. Though their webs look irregular they still catch prey.
The abundance of empty webs in our homes is caused by the spider’s propensity to spin webs in various locations until it finds the most suitable place to catch prey. You destroy its web today, and you find a new one tomorrow. The spider perceives things differently. A destruction of its web is a prospect to start another one somewhere else. It never gives up. It keeps spinning its way into the King’s Palace.
Another interesting point is that the spider spins not because it has seen or sensed a prey around, but because it is hoping to trap one soon. It observes things otherwise. It looks at things from a distinct angle.
I have been told that spider webs are built from silk, which is produced within the body of the spider and pulled out of spinnerets, with the spider’s hind legs. The resources we need to take us to the King’s palace are deeply embedded within us. We can always access these resources and bring them out by ourselves. We have been blessed with legs, hands, mouths, ears and brain. Use these organs at your disposal to spin your way into corridors of power.
A web is constructed so that if any part of it is disturbed, a reaction is felt across the entire web, alerting the spider to its trapped and struggling insect food. Okay, so the spider may not see the prey but will still feel the disturbances! This talks of being sensitive. Are we sensitive enough to tell when the time comes to pounce on opportunities? The spider does not have antennae like an insect but its legs are covered with many hairs. The hairs pick up vibrations and smells from the air. Not always do we need to look with physical eyes. Sometimes we need to harness our spiritual sensors and feelers. Occasionally ignore what your physical eyes and step into the unknown.
Spiders rebuild their webs by eating the silk then “recycling” it to make new webs. How many times do we try to apply stone-age solutions to computer-age problems? We need to learn to re-invent ourselves. We need to learn to molt and come out fresh again. They say that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
As we conclude, consider this:
Hundreds of years ago, people put spider webs on their wounds because they believed it would help stop the bleeding. Scientists now know that the silk contains vitamin K, which helps reduce bleeding. Is it possible that we live with bleeding lives and we do nothing to stop the bleeding?
Have you ever thought that you could be a Vitamin K to your neighbour? How many times have we given our neighbours Vitamin E rather than K?
As you finish relishing this spider broth, ponder over these words of John Lubbock, a 19th Century polymath, “What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. … In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportsmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.”