This weekend, I have seen a minimum of 3 snakes. Saturday, I was driving down Stones River Road from VBS at Woods back home and one slivered right on out in front of me. It appeared to be just a black garden snake, but never know for sure.
Then, later in the afternoon, I finished mowing the last bit of the yard, including the new area that we have been working on called the "serenity garden" in our woods. I laid some sod down last week, then we built a gravel walkway to the fire pit table that sits there since last year (moved for Katelyn's wedding and decided not to move it back), added a stone fire pit, and planted some flowers. It is our place to just sit and relax. I digress. So, anyway, after mowing, Abigail and I were cutting and stacking wood to use in the fire pit. I walk through the freshly mowed sod and stop "dead" in my tracks. There it was...about 2 feet from me...A SNAKE!!!!
Wait...it isn't moving. There are flies on it. Hmmm....I grab the shovel, walk over to it, lift it up...no head. Completely severed. My guess was that either Abigail saw it and did a Ninja on it with the shovel...or it met the wrath of the mower! The second must have been the case as what happened next will explain.
I pick it up with the shovel, half of it hanging in the air, walk over toward Abigail, and she starts having jumping fits and screaming "ewwwwwwwwww" as she runs from the woods. Then I hear "I'm never going back to the woods again!"
"Abigail...honey...it has NO head! It cannot hurt you!" "That's not true! I read that snakes can live up to 24 hours after they are cut in half." Now holding the snake up higher so she can see what part of the snake is left..."Abigail, there is NO HEAD...it CAN'T be living!"
I am not sure who won that discussion still; but, I did manage to get her back in the woods.
Then, today, after church services and lunch, I went nearby to the Stones River to fish for a few minutes. After several minutes of no success, I began walking the banks to try different spots. Found one I liked. Threw the line out, then heard a splash just inches from me. I looked around to see what it was, only to see nothing, at first. Then, I see it about 20 feet away...an old ugly snake sticking his head up out of the water as to be displaying his/her anger at my interrupting its nap or something.
I toyed with it for a few minutes by casting a plastic minnow at and near it. I nearly hit it in the head once...then as I realized that he was moving back toward me quicker than I felt I could move away from him, I reeled in and went to higher ground! I could not tell the type of snake, but did not want to take ANY chances. He finally shifted directions...and went to the other bank.
I want to go back to the middle snake tale (or "tail as it should be). Remember, Abigail was so excited about the snake that didn't even have a head in which it could cause harm? Why is it that we don't get as excited even when the slightest of evil shows up near us...with, or without a head? If we see a serpent with no head, does that make us want to immediately pick it up and take it with us? Probably not. You know what the funny thing is? I have no idea where the head was! There is always a possibility that - just as Abigail stated - the head lived!?!?!
Evil is the same way. You can cut evil in half, but many times, it will STILL live. You can pick evil up without a head on it...and just like that headless snake...it is still a snake, and evil is STILL evil.
Those other two snakes...the one that was probably harmless, and the one that I had an eye glued to...well, they were not harmful to me because I had control of that situation and the choice in what to do next was mine. However, the snake with no head? Well, he just came out of his hiding place at the wrong time...or if you look at it from my perspective - the RIGHT time! Think about how things would be different if he had come out while we were picking up sticks right beside him.
Now, think about this...
The Bible tells us that there are all kinds of evil. 1 Thes 5:22 even warns us to abstain from even the appearance of evil. Evil is darkness, and there is no light. Evil will destroy, sometimes even if the head of evil is severed, but still alive. Sometimes, evil will kill the soul...
But, with Christ, we have the power to turn e v i l completely around and l i v e once again.
Why not turn evil around today?