These Spiders

As a writer, I have more than one…too many really…story worlds in my head. Without speaking pridefully, I instead praise God for the gift of creative writing that he has given me, although an active imagination can be a burden to carry as well. For some time I felt spiritual urging to write a fiction story for God. But this was no easy task to choose one story and complete it.
I am, as I like to call, a story prostitute. I jump from one story to another whenever I feel the desire or when boredom comes nipping at my heels. I rather hate to stay on one story at a time because my mind travels through the various story worlds. I have been selfish though in not focusing on one story to the glory of God. I was at one time so torn that I prayed to God that I would dream of a specific animal and then I would know what to write. I chose various animals indicating different stories and options.
That night, I dreamt of a spider dangling from a web, and also I saw my dead grandmother. She wrote to me about an eagle. Both a bird and a spider were animals I chose, and this only further distressed me as they represented two different story worlds.
I gave up, really, and went on my way happily being a story prostitute because I didn’t know what to do. God is perfect in his timing, but I didn’t have an answer yet that I could see.
The truth is I’ve felt a considerable push toward one of my stories; the one represented by the spider, but I have avoided it because of the daunting amount of research involved and crippling self-doubt that I could do such a story justice…especially given my young age. I know so very little. What if my older self could write the story better than I could now? Because surely with age one learns more and becomes a little more wise. So I continued in my tenacious avoidance using this as a primary excuse.
But today, I realize this story prostitution must cease.
I attended church today with one of my room mates. The church was small…not even thirty people were present. I’ve never been to such a small gathering on a Sunday, and I judged the church because of this. My room mate and I normally attended a well-packed church twenty minutes away, but on this Sunday, feeling ill with a cold and pressure to do school work, my room mate said she wanted to attend this new church. New to me really as she attended it regularly two years ago.
The pastor focused on Joshua 23, which is a final speech to the elders of Israel from Joshua. He tells the people to follow God, and he will thus fulfill all his promises and provide for the people, but if the people go over to their enemies and intermarry with them and interact with them, then the Lord will turn away from the people and his wrath will be provoked.
The pastor spoke about distraction in people. How we gravitate toward sin and jump from one task to another without finishing any. I began to apply this message to my writing and felt convicted. The pastor admonished us to love God and serve him. Let our love for him be our motivation to finish a task.
If we are consistently spending time in God’s word because we want to follow his ways, because we love him, we will be exactly where God wants us to be. The pastor emphasized this, and he was right to.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
The process will be long, and distractions will persist just like sin never goes away. Our life’s purpose is to love God and serve him. We must pass on our work and gifts to the next generation to help them mature and bear fruit. The pastor even mentioned the size of the church and how few of us there were. He mentioned that Jesus’s ministry began as small, but it grew into a large fellowship. Perhaps the same will happen to the small church, but either way, a message from God still blesses those who are present.
It is a strange thing to say, but I have often been comforted by the presence of spiders. Tiny little arachnids have followed me for years. I frequently find them in my bedroom or whenever I go outside. They roam around our house; I catch them and take them outside. Jumping spiders, wolf spiders, and tiny yellow or green spiders. I’ve even found them in my book bag at school, twice.
I think God was using them as a reminder to turn back to my one story. Maybe the spiders were there, and I just happened to notice them, but that would be a stretch because of how many I have seen during important moments of my life.
Still, the spiders are a comfort to me, and now I must go back to my steampunk story.
I must stay with her until she is done.


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