The spiderman is always hungry - Part 1

And I feel like I'm being eaten
By a thousand million shivering furry holes
And I know that in the morning
I will wake up in the shivering cold
And the spiderman is always hungry... - Lullaby, The Cure

There are more spidermen in my life than I care to admit. 

Recently I watched a video in which a pastor talked about his fear of rejection and how that contributed to a sin issue that he was struggling with. He went back, time and time again, to this sin rather than face the fact that he could not constructively deal with the feelings that flooded him from being rejected or even from the fear that he would be.

I can relate. I sure can relate to that. I have had numerous conversations with my wife and others where I confessed that I struggle with this fear and I see now, perhaps more clearly than ever, how this solidifies sinful attitudes and patterns in my life. 

I remember this so acutely in an exercise that we engaged in a while back when our church was thinking of retooling our adult education classes. We split into two rather large groups and were were told explore some questions about topics that we would think that adults in our church would be interested in learning about, when we could possibly fit in these teaching sessions, etc. One of the questions I remember was who we would consider to be some of the better teachers in the church. Now I had done a fair amount of teaching up to that point and I was looking for someone in my group to speak up and name me as one of the people that belonged in that category. I feared that no one would. And they didn't. And my heart sank. I had been rejected. My name was not written on the list.

You see, this spiderman is always hungry.

Now I did have a saving grace. The other group was tasked with coming up with the same information that we were. So, I thought there was a bit of hope here. Hope that I would make their list. Hope that what I thought about myself, that I had this gift to teach, was true. As the group returned and brought what was recorded on the large newsprint I quickly looked for my name on the list that they generated. It was there and I breathed a sigh of relief. 

Since that day, though, I have wondered. I have often wondered who I would think myself to be if my name was left off of the list. Would I have struggled mightily with this area of my self concept? Would I have rejected all those years of teaching and preaching as somehow illegitimate? Would I have participated in the discussion as vigorously as I did when the other group returned? Would I have gone for a long drive after the meeting to think about what had just happened?

One thing I can say is that, even as I type this, I realize that his appetite has not been satiated. There seems to be less in my life that would suggest that he will leave me alone.

No. This spiderman still hungers for me. The spiderman is always hungry.

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