I stepped onto the crowded bus and after weaving my way through chattering school kids, mothers carrying crying babies and elderly women clutching their bags, I finally heaved myself into a seat by a window. I was exhausted, soaked, and near to tears. I had had a roller coaster of a day. From this morning’s minor argument with my mum to the drenched revision notes lying in my bag which I had spent all morning on to a stupid misunderstanding with my best friend to the failed maths test I had taken a couple of hours ago, I was sure this day couldn’t get any worse.
I was so disappointment about the failed exam. Maths was never my thing; numbers just confused me to the toes. I hated it. Back in college, I was over the moon with the fact that I wouldn’t have to do anything number related ever again. I wanted to teach art and that sure didn’t include any numbers or angles or equations whatsoever. My college principle did warn me though, “Maths will come back to haunt you; you will need it if you’re going to go into teaching,” I had looked at him like he was nuts, rolled my eyes and went on my way.
And here I was trapped in this nightmare.
I sighed and slumped back in my seat, drowning in my sorrows. My gaze landed on the wet window decorated with beads of raindrops. I leaned forward and sat up straighter. When I was little, I would go on bus rides with my grandma. I would always take the seat by the window and whenever it rained, I would lean forward, my face inches away from the glass and follow each raindrop with my index finger as it would roll down the glass and disappear at the bottom. I found it fascinating. I wondered if these little pearls of water knew that they had travelled a million miles from the heavens and landed here on the window of a bus I was sitting on. Sometimes – using one finger from each hand - I would have a race to see which raindrop rolled faster. And when they finally disappeared into the bottom of the glass, I would instantly and excitedly search for another pair. The ones at the top were the best – they got the longest ride and that always made me happy…
As I sat there today looking at these raindrops and remembering my childhood days, my eyes stopped on a little black something stuck to the window. I leaned a little closer. It was a tiny spider. Not even the size of a pea. I instantly thought of flicking it away with a finger. The last thing I needed right now was an annoying little insect.
But something stopped me.
The spider was attempting to climb up the window, its tiny, nearly invisible legs trying their best. I watched it climbed a few steps and then suddenly tumbled and fell back down. I cupped my hands together ready to catch it but it caught its balance and stayed on the glass. It mounted the window once again, trying ever so hard to reach that point. After a few more steps, its tiny legs slipped and gave way. A part of me wanted to reach out, pick it up and guide it to its destination, but something held me back. I was quite fascinated by its eager movements, so I just watched. The insect continued to trudge on, one step at a time. It slipped a few times, stumbled and fell back, but started all over again. The sudden fall did nothing to hold him back. It carried on. And eventually it got to the top.
As it disappeared above the windowpane, it suddenly hit me. This was God showing me something. He was retelling my tale to me in the form of this tiny spider. A huge wave of calmness and peace showered over me, I felt something deep within me fall and settle somewhere comfortable. God was telling me to take it one step at a time. He was telling me to take it easy and not rush. Eventually, I, like the spider, would reach my destination – despite my falls, my stumbles, and my slips. He was telling me to not focus on how many times my feet slipped but to learn from my failure and then let it go. He was once again, like He always did, reaching out to take my hand, asking me to let Him guide me through.
Those tears of frustration which had been burning in the back of my throat minutes ago slipped from my eyes and slid down my cheeks. They weren’t tears of frustration now; they were tears of gratitude and realization.
I smiled and whispered, ‘thank you.’