Several weeks ago, I decided to go for a drive up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was delightful to have time all to myself, explore what I wanted to explore and take paths less traveled. Although it was hot and humid in the valley of my hometown, cool air and misty clouds surrounded me in the mountains.
I pulled off at a favorite spot where my family used to picnic when I was a child. In spite of several cars and hikers milling around, the quiet fog made me feel as if I were all alone. I picked an offshoot of the Mountains-to-Sea trail and began meandering down the trail.
If you’ve never been in a forest engulfed by a cloud, it is truly magical. Mist kisses leaves and flowers with her dewy lips, and everything appears to be covered with tiny, beaded crystals. It took me a good 20 minutes just to get a few yards down the trail, as I appreciated the opportunity to stand in awe of God’s creation.
A few feet later, and I spied it. A thin rope stretched from a tall tree over the path. As I approached it, however, I realized it wasn’t a string; it was merely a thin spider web coated in millions of water droplets. I was amazed by the strength of seemingly fragile webbing as it created a bridge of water and silk. And yet, I knew if I raised my arm and gently touched it, the rope would snap and float to the ground.
As I drove back down the the Parkway, I began thinking about how we are all like that spider web–a balance of fragility and strength. Sometimes, we are resilient, able to take on what life gives us–finding the inner strength to carry whatever it is befalls us. But we are also delicate, vulnerable to the impact of the world around us.
Just like the web, we must work to find the balance–appreciating both our vulnerabilities and our strengths and the life lessons they have to teach us.