Ever hear the story of Robert Bruce and the spider? My pastor shared his story during the sermon this past Sunday and its message lingered in my heart.
The devil knows his best tool to trip me up is discouragement. Perseverance is not a natural strength for me and I bet not for most of us. Yet that “try one more time attitude” fills me with optimist hope that maybe, just maybe the next time...
When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time." ~Author Unknown
People in Scotland like to tell the legend of Robert Bruce and the spider. In 1306 he was crowned King of Scotland and began the quest to free Scotland from the English.
Battle after battle he had fought with England. Six times Robert Bruce had led his brave little army against his foes. Six times his men had been beaten, until finally they were driven into flight. At last the army of Scotland was entirely scattered, and the king was forced to hide in the woods and in lonely places among the mountains.
He was on the run - a hunted man. He sought refuge in a small dark cave and sat and watched a little spider trying to make a web. Six times she tried to throw her thread from one edge of the cave wall to another. Six times her thread fell short. Discouragement.
Time and time again the spider would fall and then climb slowly back up to try again.
Finally, as the Bruce looked on, the spider managed to stick a strand of silk to the cave wall and began to weave a web.
Robert was inspired by the spider and went on to defeat the English. Bruce's army of 5,000 defeated Edward II's much larger army of 20,000, driving the English finally and firmly out of Scotland. Scotland won its independence because Robert Bruce wouldn’t give up.
I needed to hear that story and what a great way to start the week - with hope and encouragement to try, try again. Each day, moment-by-moment, I look at defeat and shake my head, NO! I choose to go on and not give up. I get tired, impatient and yes discouraged. I rest and read about others continuing their call and it inspires me to be obedient to God in the marathon of life. The Holy Spirit renews me with the gifts of faith, hope, and perseverance. - all light my next step.
A few more inspirations:
“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
“It always seems impossible until it's done.”
“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”
“Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were.
And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.”
Sam in Lord of the Rings
I plan on remembering Robert Bruce’s spider legend this week and like Sam said, I am holding onto Something. How about you?