Lessons from the Web
Like many people, fall is my favorite season. One of the main reasons is that the cooling weather provides such great opportunities to observe the rhythm of the created order. In particular I am fascinated by the opportunity to see things that we don’t normally observe. Recently I was reminded of this by, of all things, a web. Not the “web” that we associate with http/ but a web being spun by a spider.
Letting our lab out on a recent evening, and having a flashlight (to spot any critters that may be have wandered into the yard) the beam of the light caught not the eyes of another critter but the gleam of a huge spider web being spun between our deck and the pine trees in our back yard. Walking up to get a closer look, I noticed the spider still at its task, completing what it hoped to be the source of its next meal. For several minutes I watched this little creature diligently connect section after section; repeating the same actions time and time again; all focused on one purpose…gathering the next meal. At one point the spider stopped, went to the center of the web and pulled on the web with all of its legs, as if to test the integrity of its work. The web contracted in uniform fashion and then snapped back as the spider let go; satisfied that the web worked as intended thus far. Then the spider crawled back down the web and continued its work…section by section until it was done; a fascinating process.
My mind quickly turned to the reality that all of this work by the spider might possibly be undone in an instant by my grandsons as they played outside the next day. Whether by precocious little boys or perhaps by intended prey, that spiders web that was so carefully crafted will come down. And what then will the spider do? It will build another. For the spider, the web isn’t the objective; it is simply a means to an end. The spider stays focused on its goal of survival and if it encounters a setback with one web, it will build another. In many respects, our client’s financial plans are like the spiders web. The necessary time is spent thoughtfully constructing plans that are intended to accomplish an objective or objectives. Yet we must remember that the plan, or any single component of the plan, is not the objective. The plan is a means to an end because it exists in the context of a life; in real time. Therefore, when setbacks occur, we don’t lose sight of the objective; we recheck the integrity of the plan, makes adjustments where needed and keep our eye focused on the big picture. Enjoy the change of seasons and I trust that as you are out and about, you will notice the little things that remind of us of the big things, and find hope.
Any opinions are those of Barry McCall and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.