|Posted on November 11, 2019 at 9:25 AM|
What does your web of connections look like?
I recently heard a priest give a homily about spider webs. My first thought was really? Spider webs? But as I kept my mind open and listened to his words I was rather intrigued by his commentary.
We know that spiders build webs of a special silk to catch their food. A spider works very hard, often every day, to spin silk into an intricate pattern of strong threads which are all connected. The spider sits either on the web itself or near it with a thread connected to the web. Because the spider always maintains that connection to his web, he can sense any time there is a disturbance or when prey is caught.
The priest’s point about the spider web was the connections. The spider needed strong connections in order to live. And so do we! Although we don’t need to catch our lunch in a web, we still need connections to other humans to maintain a fruitful life. These connections help us in so many ways. We may reach out to someone when we need help, we can stay in touch with our family and friends, and we often network for new opportunities through our connections.
Today we have many opportunities for connections. Almost everyone I know has a cell phone, and we have 24/7 connections to people through texting, instant messages and Facebook. We can contact to large groups of people through one little post or speak to someone in the blink of an eye. Today I have a huge web of connections!
But I recall one point in my life when my web was very small and broken. I was going to college, and my parents had moved out of state. I was renting a room from an older woman in a neighborhood a few miles from where I grew up. My friends were mostly busy with their jobs or own schooling, and few lived close by.
Since this was before internet and cell phones were available, it was much harder to stay connected. At times I felt very isolated. I did not have a car, and I had to rely on a bus to go to school and work. I could use my bicycle to go some places during the warmer months, but I rarely went anywhere besides work and school in the winter. Fortunately, my landlady attended my church and I could get a ride from her, so I was able to maintain that one connection to my faith. But my social connections were somewhat broken or hanging by a thread.
It was during this time that I had a rather poor self-image. It didn’t help that I was not very good-looking in the world’s eyes, and since I did not live on campus I had few friends at college. In my attempt to fit in and feel good about myself, there were a few times when I made some poor choices about dating. I did not have a strong support network to help me stay on the level.
Looking back on that time in my life, I am surprised that I didn’t make MORE poor choices. It would have been very easy to sink into various sins had those options presented themselves. I was rather lucky that I didn’t make some major mistakes! But maybe that was because I still did have SOME connections – I’m sure my regular attendance at church with my landlady helped quite a bit!
I am SO grateful for all the connections I have now. I have a strong web of friends both new and “seasoned,” my faith life is solid, and I have a loving husband and fantastic neighbors. I am so very blessed by this web of support, which has been there for me through many difficulties.
What does your web look like? Do you have strong connections to others? Are there some threads of your web that have broken and which perhaps you need to mend? This week I encourage you to look at your connections web. Nurture those connections that are solid and see what you can do to improve those that are a bit broken. A strong web of connections can be a great blessing!
Have a blessed Monday!
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