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What a tangled web we weave…

I love summertime, not the intense heat, but summertime in general.

The flowers, the smell of fresh cut hay, the mornings, oh I love the mornings. Sitting on the breezeway swing sipping on hot coffee with my darling Terri by my side. Ah what a life!

What I am not a real fan of in the summer months are those pesky little spider webs that I am constantly stumbling into as a walk toward my car each morning to go to work.

For the life of me I cannot understand A.) How an iddy biddy spider can span such a distance and B.) Are they really trying to catch anything with these limitless single strands? They would need a little bigger cable to reel in a boy my size!

Now let me say here at the offset, I don’t like spiders. I don’t really care for any of the “creeping things” God placed in our world.

I do not doubt His wisdom here, I’m just not a raving fan of arachnoids.

In trying to grasp a better understanding of the floating web dilemma I found my self searching the web for some info that would educate me as to the in’s and outs of this phenomenon.

I have read that little spider lings are known to leap from trees with a strand of web that they are spinning which sometimes carries them to lofty heights in neighboring trees and buildings.

Which would explain one of my recent encounters with a few webs that stretched from my house to the trees by my car. “I thought the little bugger started and the house, climbed down, crawled over to the tree line and reeled er in!”

At any rate, even with the better understanding I am still caught by surprise and a little frustrated as I journey to my car with a steaming hot cup of java in one hand and a briefcase in the other spitting and ducking as I encounter a face full of web sandwich!

By the way I can just picture the little juvenile spiderkins laughing at me as I stumble around spitting web and glaring at the tree tops.

The spiritual lesson here Tim if you don’t mind? Yeah I’m getting to it.

The lesson revolves around a line in a letter the apostle Paul wrote to a church in Galatia. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1.

The yoke of bondage to which Paul referred to here was the law. By only keeping and trusting in the law there was no hope of salvation, so therein their need for a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Now your yoke of bondage could be any number of things that held you captive before you met Christ.

It could be anything that is possibly enticing you to recant your faith.

The words bondage literally paints a picture of captivity and slavery. In other words, don’t return to what enslaved you in the past! The spider webs of your past may float by, but don’t allow them to tangle you up.

A quick comparison of those little strands of aggravation to the bondage of sin reminds us a few principles.

The problem if sin is often that it seems insignificant or small.

Years back in Our Daily Bread I read, “Imagine all the obstacles a person might have to overcome if he were to walk from New York City to San Francisco. One man who accomplished this rare achievement mentioned a rather surprising difficulty when asked to tell of his biggest hurdle.

He said that the toughest part of the trip wasn’t traversing the steep slopes of the mountains or crossing hot, dry, barren stretches of desert.

Instead, he said, “The thing that came the closest to defeating me was the sand in my shoes.”

Just because it small, doesn’t mean that it cannot affect your spiritual walk.

The second principle that jumps out at me is the deception of the danger factor regarding small things.

Daniel Hans writes “When John Belushi died in the spring of 1983 of an overdose of cocaine and heroin, a variety of articles appeared, including one in U.S. News and World Report, on the seductive dangers of cocaine: “It can do you no harm and it can drive you insane; it can give you status in society and it can wreck your career; it can make you the life of the party and it can turn you into a loner; it can be an elixir for high living and a potion for death.”

Like all sin, there’s a difference between the appearance and the reality, between the momentary feeling and the lasting effect.

Small things can be a hindrance or can even be deadly. Good advice from Paul wouldn’t you say?

One story that stands out to me is of and old preacher that was praying at the alter with one of his church members.

This particular member had come often calling out to God asking Him to remove the cobwebs from their life.

The wise old preacher who had become a little weary of the same request cried out to the Lord as they prayed together once again, “Lord don’t just clean out the cobwebs, Kill That Spider!”

Now I may not be able to fix my problem of a steady diet of spider webs for breakfast, but each of us can trust the Lord to kill the spiders of influence that spin the webs which could entangle our lives.

Now, where’s that can of Raid?

Pastor Tim Throckmorton is the pastor of the Plymouth Heights Church of Nazarene.