Friday, May 4, 2012
Snake on the Path ...or is it?
If you were walking along a path in the forest and came upon this....
...would you think Snakes!?!
What about this one?
If you've ever had the shock of a snake across your path, you know how it can set your heart racing! The first picture - harmless tree roots, but they sure could look like snakes at first glance. The second, obviously is a snake slithering over the ground. Why are there snakes in my blog? (Honestly, I got the heebie-jeebies just looking at pictures of snakes!) Thus, there is a point.
Until we know whether it's a root or a snake, we will act like it's the snake. The same is true in life. Occasionally, something will happen, a situation will arise, and we'll automatically throw up the defenses and make a knee jerk reaction before understanding the full truth. This is especially true in our relationships. Words are said and assumptions are made. Feelings are hurt and accusations can fly - all on a whim of an emotional reaction.
Just like the flinch we feel at the sight of a "snake", our EMOTION shows up before our REASONING has time to kick in, and we will react in life with intense fear. It's merely human nature to have an emotional reaction. This is where TRUTH is so important. Looking at the truth, the reality, can help us take captive the feelings we feel. We are not robots though. Even the most logical of people will still jump at the first sight of a snake! Emotions are not an evil thing like some legalism teaches. God made us emotional beings. He's emotional, too.
"For God so loved the world..." (John 3:16)
"In all their distress he too (God) was distressed..." (Isaiah 63:9)
"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion..." (Psalm 103:13)
"Do not grieve the Holy Spirit..." (Eph. 4:30)
"...but (God) will rejoice over you with singing." (Zeph. 3:17b)
Emotions are proof we are alive. We love. We hurt. We anticipate. We grieve. We enjoy. I wanted to share this illustration I'd heard about snakes, because it made me understand it's alright to feel. Legalism points its finger and says, "You shouldn't feel like that! Stop it!" For too many years, I thought it "right" to only be logical, and felt horribly guilty if I had any feelings to wrestle through.
Truth. Looking at the truth of a matter is what settles us down so we can think, yet God designed our bodies to "react" and feel. And sometimes it's that reaction that saves us from the real snake! "I'm so glad you saw that otherwise we could have stepped on it!" Truth is, sometimes there really is something there. Often times, there isn't. Truth helps us determine whether our emotions are in line with reality and emotions are often what jars us abruptly to look for the truth.
Next time a "snake" shows up on your path, literally or figuratively, making you jump, scream for a second if you need to, take a breath and look down and decided whether it's time to laugh at yourself or JUMP to safety. Either way, I bet you'll jump first! You just can't help it...