Competitiveness. Infatuation. Greed. Vanity.
Do you know the famous story of the spider and King David? Young David is hiding in a cave from King Saul. He sees a spider and wonders why the Almighty bothered creating spiders at all. (I admit I’ve questioned their purpose at times!) Long story short, the spider saves David from Saul by spinning a web that covers the mouth of the cave. When King Saul approaches the cave, after being tipped off by a spy, he doesn’t even enter since he assumes that David would have broken the intricate web when going in to hide.
Spiders have a purpose in the world and sometimes their purpose is quite lofty.
Our inner ‘spiders’ (competitiveness, infatuation, vanity, and greed) can have a lofty purpose too. They can be the first steps in motivating us to accomplish great deeds.
Lately, I’ve been noticing the volume of people who are at a crossroads. They’re toying with new ideas for their careers, they’re ending relationships, some are feeling anxious about their future, others are experiencing the bittersweet flavor of closing one chapter and beginning the next.
We see that we need to make a change in our lives but we are masters of distraction and rationalization. We stay in the rut and we are sure that’s the most practical course of action.
We bump into a contemporary who seems to be running his life far more efficiently, happily, and successfully than us.
OR We are attracted to someone who appreciates achievements that we suddenly have energy to accomplish.
OR We look in the mirror or try on that outfit or step on the scale.
OR We want more attention, money, honor, affection, medals, degrees, accolades, or popularity.
Suddenly, we are able to update that resume, skip that dessert, set up that date, book that ticket. We are spontaneously and wholly motivated to accomplish what we were sure was impossible.
What about these negative traits and emotions that we’re capitalizing on to accomplish great things?
A Jewish perspective? Go for it. Seize the day. Just do it. Fake it ’til you make it. What begins with impure intentions can transition into idealistic ones.
So to those around me who feel that they are at a crossroads…and to me, who can appreciate downtime like a champ but knows the value of accomplishing.
DO. Do at all costs. Do ambitiously, boldly, and bravely. Use the hidden ‘spiders’ in yourself to haul your body off of the couch and accomplish.
It’s a brand new year, baby. Live greatly.