Last Thursday, I decided it would be a good idea to take the dogs out for some exercise before the weekend storms came in. A trip to the lake seemed to be my best option, so I packed up my bag, and we headed out. Usually, when we go to the lake, we'll just do the small lake-loop trail, and while at the lake, I'll do some writing while the dogs play. Because of the weather forecast, however, I wanted to make sure they got PLENTY of exercise. So, I decided to do the entire trail.
We started at the lake parking, climbing up to the top of the mountain, then climbed back down and did the lake loop. I was doing my usual summer neck exercise: look up for spiderwebs, look down for snakes, look up, look down. Unfortunately, I still managed to walk through probably fifty spiderwebs. All in all, though, it was a nice trip. We went early enough that it wasn't really hot out. In fact, there was a nice breeze blowing, and the weather was perfect.
When we finally got to the lake, I felt I deserved a much-needed rest, so I decided to sit down on one of the big rocks at the water's edge. When I say these rocks are close to the water, I mean that you can sit on the rock and reach down into the water. If you wanted, you could dangle your feet in the water. I actually just enjoy staring out across the water and looking down at the little fish swimming just below me.
As I stared out across the water on this day, I felt myself relax. All my tensions seemed to melt away. My worries disappeared. I was at peace. I turned to look at Mitch who had just run behind me when I spotted a strange looking stick in the water right beside me. "Cool," I said, "that stick looks just like a . . ."
I was on my feet in a flash. (I had no idea I could move that fast!) The unique stick I was looking at was actually a water snake with his beady little eyes poking out of the water and his little forked tongue flicking in and out. He wasn't even a foot from where I had just been sitting. If I had wanted to (NOT!), I could have reached out and touched him. (Talk about too close for comfort!) My quick movement evidently startled him and caused him to slither under the rock I was standing on. His movement caught Mitch's attention and sent him into the water in an attempt to locate the slithering beast. Needless to say, my state of peacefulness had disappeared (not to mention my bladder control).
As I walked the rest of the trail back to the car, I thought about how funny (I use that word lightly) it was that the entire time I was on the lookout for snakes, I didn't see any. The moment I let my guard down, however, there was one just inches from me. (My skin is still crawling!)
Many times the Bible tells us to be on guard. Why? Because it's easy (especially when things are going fairly well) to be lured into a false sense of security. In those times of peace, we forget that Satan is still seeking to destroy us. He doesn't stop attacking just because we're having a good day or a good week. He is always looking for ways to hinder our Christian growth and keep us from serving the Lord. If we're not on guard all the time, he might just succeed.
Don't let your guard down!
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. - Matthew 26:41