Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Case of the Persistent Spider

For the last few weeks, I’ve been fascinated by the perseverance of a spider. Where? On my car! This little spider lives in the housing of the driver’s side mirror. It spins a web between that outside mirror and the door, especially the door handle since the surface of the door is so smooth.

The first time I noticed it, I dismissed it. “As soon as I drive the car, the wind will blow it away,” I thought.

But no, day after day it reappeared to either repair or strengthen it’s web. Fascinated by its persistence, I didn’t have the heart to destroy the web and chase away the spider. I wondered how long this would go on.

Last weekend we drove 250 kilometres or so at speeds around 100 kph. “So much for the spider,” I ruminated.

We returned home, parked the car, and went to bed. The next day we went out for groceries. What did I see but my nemesis? The spider, fatter than ever off insects it had caught was still there strengthening and elaborating its web. As soon as we drove off, it disappeared to shelter in the mirror housing only to reappear when we stopped.

Lord, if one of your little spiders can exhibit such perseverance, why am I so frequently tempted to give up? When the regimen of exercises given by my therapist seem so boring and routine? When there seems to be so little change in mobility? When collapsing on the couch and reading an exciting novel seems so much more attractive than studying something edifying? When eating out at a fast food restaurant is easier than preparing a healthy meal at home?

And what about my walk, Lord? Do I need to concern myself overly about keeping up daily prayer, daily Bible reading, meeting with your people, and trying to serve? After all you have called us into freedom and not legalism. No one will know my quiet time nor if we cut back on our giving. Do I really need to keep on walking by faith and exercising integrity? How about if I just go with the flow for a day or a week or two?

But then I hear the whisper from your Word; “perseverance produces character and character hope,” “run with perseverance the race marked out for you,” and “the testing of your faith develops perseverance”(Rom. 5:4; Heb. 12:1; James 1:3). Okay, thanks Lord for sending the spider.

(Further articles, books, and stories at: http://www.countrywindow.ca Facebook: Eric E Wright Twitter: @EricEWright1   LinkedIn: Eric Wright )

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Affirming Others

I’ve always tried to grow vegetables and plant attractive flowers wherever we have lived. I enjoyed seeing things grow, even if it meant weeding, watering and getting my fingers dirty.

But now we’re in an apartment with no balcony.
Instead of picking our own flowers, we saunter up and down the streets around Cobourg clock2where we live enjoying what the town has done to beautify its streets and parks. And we delight in the gardens of home owners.

This change in our lifestyle has reminded me that we should express appreciation for what others do. This is especially so when their efforts increase our enjoyment or show hard work or ability. When I grew prize tomatoes or planted an attractive flower garden, I took pride in it. Feeling a sense of satisfaction and joy in what one does is certainly not wrong. But when others commended my efforts, I felt affirmed and even motivated to do better.

It is easy to take others for granted; after all, don’t they get paid for what they do? A server at a restaurant. A clerk in a store or bank. A repairman fixing an oven. A doctor or nurse. A town employee weeding a garden. An artist. A pastor.

Cobourg flowersMy wife, Mary Helen, has taught me to view that approach with a jaundiced eye. She almost invariably encourages those she meets; commending them for the tasks they do. Recently I’ve heard her say to a server, “You’re good at your job. You deserve a raise.” I could give many examples.

I’m gradually learning from her! So if I see a home-owner working in her garden, I commend her about how attractive it looks. When a store clerk helps me find a product I usually express my appreciation. When a car waits while we cross the road, I wave my thanks. I often go up to a pastor after his sermon to encourage him. It’s only taken me 50 years to learn the value of words of affirmation and encouragement. And I still forget too often.

Didn’t Jesus say we could expect, “Well done, you good and faithful servant,” for Cobourg flowers (2)hard work in His service. (Matt. 25:21) The writer of Hebrews urges us; “Encourage one another daily” (Heb. 3:13). Note the daily, not rarely.

Words of encouragement and affirmation serve to lighten people’s loads and improve their performance.

(Further articles, books, and stories at: http://www.countrywindow.ca Facebook: Eric E Wright Twitter: @EricEWright1 LinkedIn: Eric Wright )

Help, I’m Buried Under Passwords!

How did life get so complicated? Nowadays, we can hardly do anything without a password or pin number. I tried to get some address labels printed the other day. Simple? No. First they wanted me to set up an account and choose a password!

I need passwords for Facebook and Twitter. For Linkedin and Amazon. Whether it’s to access my telephone account, my bank, or to buy groceries I’m hounded for some pin number. Dozens of them. Scores. Hundreds.

What happened to the simple life? It’s not enough that I’m me not someone else; Eric E Wright not Eric Beaucoup? The Internet is taking over life. And according to security experts, we can’t just ignore it because evil hackers are out there just waiting to pounce.

We may not be able to approach a government department without a password. But I’ve got good news for weary moderns. We can approach the King of the universe without a pin number. We can pray anytime, anywhere even if our memory is bad. We can cry, “Heavenly Father, I need help!” We know that His ears are immediately open to our cry. No matter if our requests be so gigantic that Warren Buffet couldn’t fulfill them or so small that they seem insignificant, God loves to hear us pray. And He loves to answer.

“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray”(James 5:13a). “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”(Phil. 4:6,7).

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer”(1Peter 3:12). Jesus urged his disciples; “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete”(John 16:24).

The invitation to pray goes to everyone on earth. All God asks is that we believe He exists, that He sent His Son to save us from our sins, and that we admit our sinfulness and need of a Saviour. But even people who are struggling with doubts about God are welcome to come to Him in prayer. He has an open door prayer policy.

What an invitation! Let’s take advantage of God’s benevolence and keep the heavenly talk line humming with chatter, with thanksgiving, with requests for ourselves, our families, our nation, and our world.

(Further articles, books, and stories at: http://www.countrywindow.ca Facebook: Eric E Wright Twitter: @EricEWright1 LinkedIn: Eric Wright )