04 Sep The Wasp and the Spider Web
While relaxing in our spa I glanced to a corner of the gazebo and noticed a wasp struggling against the spider web that had its leg bound. Interestingly enough, it was only its leg that was caught, and I couldn’t help but be drawn into this developing life or death struggle.
Unbeknownst to the wasp, this particular web had long since become abandoned. Perhaps the spider died of starvation, boredom or simply moved on to greener pastures. Whatever the case, it left behind a deadly snare that lay in wait for any unsuspecting creature. It this case it was my friend the wasp.
Who knows what initially attracted the wasp to the web. Perhaps it was a tasty morsel that lay amid the debris of the forgotten snare. Regardless of the reason, the hapless wasp descended, anticipating a grand feast no doubt. Instead, it found itself ensnared in the waiting web. Now, had this been an active web, the owner would have detected the frantic vibrations emitted by the struggling prey and quickly moved in to secure its kill.
However, as I indicated, this web’s owner had moved on to greener pastures. As I watched the drama unfold, it became clear that the wasp had no idea that he was trapped in an abandoned web. Its wings beat frantically and for brief moments, it lifted off the ground in apparent freedom, only to be yanked back by the one leg fettered by the unforgiving web.
As I watched I thought,
“If the wasp would only calm down and take a moment to survey its predicament, it would see that the solution was within reach. All it had to do was calmly maneuver itself to where it could break the web with its front pincers and voila, it would be free.”
Instead, it continued its frantic tirade, which served to only ensnare it further in the web’s embrace. With each feeble hop, a new leg would become entangled. At one point, the entangle limbs broke free, that is all except the initial leg that became trapped. Sensing that it was close to being liberated, it beat its wings in a desperate attempt at freedom.
As it made the slightest headway, you could see the web stretching further and further, seemingly reaching a breaking point. Unfortunately, for the wasp, that breaking point was beyond its ability to attain. After struggling for ten to fifteen minutes, with no success, the exhausted wasp appeared to resign itself to its fate. It slipped over the edge of the window sill and dangled precariously over the side, still anchored by the ensnared leg. It lay there motionless, waiting for death to come. Having given up, death would indeed come, but not from some imagined foe. It would come as a result of ignorance, starvation and neglect. The abandoned web would claim yet another victim, but there was no victor to claim its prize. Only the irony of a futile effort.
As I pondered this struggle, I realized that there are many lessons, to draw upon. Often as we pursue our goals and dreams, we too become ensnared by life’s web. It may come in the form of an incorrect decision or an intentional disregard for the safer path. Once ensnared, we too begin to fight to free ourselves from the trap, only to find ourselves becoming more tightly bound by our metaphorical web. Often what is needed is a quiet moment of meditation and reflection. Perhaps a prayer lifted heavenward for help beyond our own abilities.
However, because of the fear of a perceived disastrous outcome, we forget to seek help. We rely on our own abilities, determining that we have the required strength to do it alone. And so, we fight on in our frantic efforts. Like the wasp, we are encouraged by brief glimpses of freedom, only to find ourselves even more tightly bound. Had we but taken a moment to seek help from a loving father who wants only the best for our lives, we would have been given the answer we need to overcome the obstacle.
Another thought strikes me. What the wasp needed in the very beginning was to recognize the danger of its current course and make an immediate 180-degree turn. Instead, it blindly pushed on further into the web’s embrace until all hope of release was swallowed up by the fatigue and hopelessness of the situation.
Perhaps I need to take a lesson from this. I have a tendency to be as stubborn and purposeful as the wasp. When I get caught in a bad decision, I continue forward thinking I can somehow solve the problem myself. Pride and arrogance prevent me from stopping and asking for guidance. Seeing the result of the wasp has taught me to not be so quick to act. What lessons can you find in this story? Share them and we’ll learn together.