Is your life a mess?

By Jimmy Cochran


It was a marvelous piece of architecture. No visible flaws in the design as each tier graduated in equal distances from the central sections. The structure could bend with the wind, yet it was as delicate as the finest thread. And, it all started with a simple, tiny spider.

My family and I had been sitting on the deck one sunny morning and were talking about how amazing this huge spider web was. It stretched between the wind chimes hanging from the ceiling, to the deck rail and to several flower pots along the railing. A very Type-A created web. Just as we thought about misting the web for a good picture, the tiny spider ran full speed from inside the chime to the bottom rail and back up to the center where it perched very still. A few minutes later with the same burst of speed, the spider raced to one of the flower pots, turned, and began gathering the large web in as it scooted from sides to center to top and in less than ten seconds, the web was gone. Except for one remaining strand on which to build a future web, there was no evidence of this beautiful work of engineering. From the instinct of a tiny spider. I could not have built something this detailed with my Lego set when I was a boy … or, even as an adult. And I, supposedly, have a much larger brain and analytical abilities than a spider.

Living in the edge of a wooded section along Camp Creek, we have a lot of web-building spiders around the outside of the house. Some build webs of beauty; some build webs that appear to be a drug-induced effort. Life is kind of like those webs. Some people have lives that appear so beautiful, organized and perfect. Others just seem to muddle along through life losing their car keys, taco stains on their shirts and chewing gum stuck on their shoes.

There are many people who think that Christians should be the living in the Type A web, the beautiful, organized, perfectly holy web. Never making mistakes, losing their temper and uttering a questionable word, singing psalms and hymns as they go their perfect hair-in-place daily life. As for me, I’ve usually got patches of stubble where my razor missed, my sunglasses hanging from one ear, an unidentified smudge on my pants and a painful bruise that I don’t remember getting which probably caused me to say something more than, “oh, pooh, that sure hurt.” This isn’t an intentional way of life for me, but it is just how it is. I struggle.

Let me let you in on a little secret. Christians do not have that perfectly ordered holy life. We struggle with carpool lines and dead car batteries just like everyone else. We get angry and we feel the same grief when a dream or a loved one dies. We are human. We make mistakes. We get angry. We get happy. If the Christian is a wise Christian, he or she doesn’t try to give others the impression of being “better than” or “holier than” others. We let the world see us as we are. The only way that an unbeliever can see Christians as we really are is by our showing the difference God makes in our lives. The difference is love, forgiveness and hope. He gives us strength, if we only believe and accept Him as a part of our life.

As much as I would like for my web to be nice and pretty, it is usually a jumbled, scrambled mess. But, that’s okay because God can still use me….and you.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy (and the tiny spider).

Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of Being God’s and Staying God’s, both available at Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.