A few weeks ago I was at church for a Dad's Bible study. There are several studies and classes at the same time on Tuesday mornings as that's the only weekday morning the church provides childcare. Most of those classes are for women, but I'm happy to say we have an outreach to dads. This is for any dads who are available in the mornings. This is available to stay at home dads, work at home dads, dads who do shift work, disabled dads and more.
This event reminds me of sin in our life. How often do we ignore a problem because we see it as something else. I was so used to seeing the insulation hanging on my back porch that I didn't recognize the snake for what it was. I actually walked(probably very close) by the snake as I went to the restroom and didn't even see it! Is there anything in your life that leaves you desensitized to the dangers in your life? Perhaps you are like me and watch TV. There is so much that is wrong on many of the shows, that I often fail to recognize things as being wrong because the shows have made these things 'normal' in my world. Maybe you are like I was just a few years ago and spend your life in bars surrounded by people who acknowledge God occasionally with words but certainly don't honor Him with their everyday conversations or actions. Maybe there is something else in your life?
This specific day I needed to go to the restroom about 45 minutes after classes started. I walked down the hall to the restroom, took care of business, and started walking back. That's where my day stopped being just like any other Tuesday.
As I got closer to the insulation, my heart froze and so did I. I realized in the middle of the hall lay one of my greatest fears. It was a snake. Then it moved. The only thing worse in my mind than a snake is a snake that's still alive!
I phoned a staff member at the church to alert them of the intruder. You see all the classes were meeting in rooms off this hall. So when time came for classes to be out, a LOT of women would be coming out into the hall. The snake had moved a little with me there, but I didn't want the snake to move in fear.
The maintenance guy and a few staff members came to help get the snake. When I was on the phone, I had told them it was a small snake, but I guess the small part wasn't communicated. The maintenance guy told me he was afraid of snakes as I am. His actions in handling the intruder told me otherwise though. He got the snake on a leaf rake then used his bare hand to hold the snake on it. He took the snake to a field next to the church and let it go.
One of the staff members commented that it was so small it could hardly be called a snake. I did remind them I said it was a small snake. In my mind I shouted that any size snake is still a snake, and I don't like snakes!
|Snake without me zooming in. It was maybe 1 foot long.|
As I've continued to reflect on this day, I think to the comment made that it was so small it could hardly be called a snake. Do we do this with mistakes or sin in our lives? In the past, I've thought, "It's just a small lie to someone I'll never see again, so why does it matter? It might be a lie, but it doesn't really count." That's sick thinking. What I've realized is when I ignore the small 'snakes' in my life they tend to grow. Before I know it, the small problems have gotten big. How did this happen? When we don't deal with issues when they are small, we are actually feeding those bad habits or behaviors. I've learned in life there is no standing still. We are either moving closer to a goal or further from it. We are either moving into a greater addiction or moving away from it. We are either getting healthier or setting ourselves up for the illness. We are either using healing coping mechanisms or destructive ones. Don't let the small snakes in your life live unchecked.
One last thing I've noticed is that when I go to church now, I'm on the lookout for snakes by all the doors and in the landscaping near the sidewalks. Even though that's not where I saw the snake, now that I am aware that snakes can get in the building, I am on the lookout. We should be the same with issues in our life. Once we realize we have an issue with selfishness, depression, addiction... We should be on the lookout for it in our lives. Let me show an example:
If I feel like I'm worthless when I argue with my spouse, perhaps I should be aware when I feel that way at other times. Then when I recognize that feeling in all areas of my life, I can start to battle it properly.
I can kill that 'snake' with the truth that I am treasured. Jesus allowed himself to be tortured and killed so that I could have a relationship with my Father in heaven.
God loves me so much. So I'm not worthless.
I'm to die for!
Be on the lookout for "snakes" in your life. Don't let them stick around just because they are small.