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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A lesson in discernment taught by a spider…

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
Philippians 1:9-10 (ESV)

I dislike spiders. A particularly large spider spun a remarkable web as I passed by while walking the dog yesterday morning. Sufficiently captivated by the spider’s industry, I doubled back to examine it. That was the moment of Grace where I discerned no fear. I appreciate the role spiders play in eco-systems and respect their right to exist. I usually put them outside when I encounter them rather than dispatching them to spider heaven, which I am certain must exist. 

I felt only absolute calm and curiosity as I stood. Matthew Henry considers Paul’s prayer for the Philippians writing,
That they might be a discerning people. This would be the effect of their knowledge and judgment: That you may approve the things which are excellent (Phil. 1:10); or, as it is in the margin, Try the things which differ; …that we may approve the things which are excellent upon the trial of them, and discern their difference from other things.
I felt calm and clarity as I observed, and acknowledged that moment as an evolution. I appreciated the moment of discernment. Having observed that moment, I wanted to remember that feeling, snapshot it for the next time it might happen.

Lord, I come thanking you for a moment of clarity; a moment where I could but briefly appreciate having the capacity to distinguish between what is within the depths of my soul, where I am most connected to You, and what the world might want me to believe (e.g., that girls should fear spiders). I desire more of this clarity, this connection. It is my prayer that You would permit me to see You, beyond my fear, beyond my foolishness, beyond distraction, Amen.

I still dislike spiders, but I desire to do them no harm. What’s next?

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