The Olive Branch extends hope and encouragement to those who wonder about life. Through the weaving of personal insights, scripture, literature, observations in nature and the world in which we live, you will join in a journey with the God who never leaves us, but stays with us and draws us to Him
There is a spider web outside my window. No spider works
there, but bits of leaves and dust and a dead fly remain trapped in a gauzy
maze. Occasionally a breeze will move the web and I silently hope for release
for the fly. I silently hope the web will just blow away on its own or be
washed clean by a rainfall and remove itself from my view. But instead I wait
and look at it. I wonder why I don’t take charge and clean the windowsill and
be rid of spiderwebs and death fragments and entrapment. I know I will—I just
have to get to the place where I decide it is time for it to go.I have to get to the place where I will change.
Where is the place we change? Is it when we have had enough?
Is it the place where we can’t stand ourselves anymore? Is it when we have new
insights, new direction, and new inspiration? Is it when we seek change from
those around us who offer an idea, a word of encouragement, a hope-holding hand
along with some spoken words of truth?
Why do we resist change? It’s not because we enjoy looking
at dead flies caught in spider webs.Sometimes
the webs are gnarly and sticky and we are caught and it is just plain hard to
get out of it. It holds us in a grip and entwines around us, until like the
fly, we become exhausted simply trying to flee.All of our energy is devoted to breaking free, leaving no energy for
productivity and meaning. And we forget
how good it feels to fly. And we die.
I belong to an energetic group of women writers who trek to a
mountain house every year and we work through some of the “webs” in our
writing. The webs are all shapes and sizes. Some are fresh. Some are in need of
major de-webbing. And some just need a little sweeping with a whisk broom. But
each writer brings ideas and encouragement and hands to hold and words to
encourage.The view of the mountain
range keeps us focused on the goal. What goal is that? That somewhere out
there, just over that mountain, the words will come. Somehow the spider webs
become insignificant. The entrapment loses its gnarly grip and we become free
to write, free to grow, and free to become all that God intends us to become.
And so how do we change? We surrender old ways and commit to
new ways. On the final night of retreat, we set goals for ourselves and offered
comments and questions about those goals. A scribe even wrote them down and
will send them out—written in words to hold us accountable to one another,
dated so we can measure our productivity, reminding us that we have viewed the
mountains—and somehow, the spider webs seem insignificant.
Psalm 121:1 “I lift my eyes to the hills; where does my help
come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”