“Mommy stay away from that woodpile and the snakes” Jake said as he took my hand and pulled me to the other side of the street. Last summer we spotted a snake in the bottom of the woodpile and that scene has yet to fade from little Jake’s memory.
We all fear different things in this life whether it is a memory or a concern for the future. Jake’s fear is a valid and rational fear, he saw the snake and knows that there could be more so he uses logic and stays far away from the woodpile. However, many of us never see the snake and yet we fear the unknown of the woodpile. It seems that those things, ideas, thoughts and people we don’t know or understand we begin to fear. Fear drives us to walk to the other side of the street and distance ourselves from the unknown. We witness this fear constantly in our culture. Those people who are different from us, those ideas that have not been mainstreamed they are to be kept at a great distance from our safe little existence. What might happen if we talk with a person who is nothing like us? Will we change our perspective if we listen to different thoughts or ideas? We are so comfortable in our lives that we tend to just stay away from the woodpile all together just in case that person turns out to be a venomous snake or that idea bites us.
A person different in appearance is still a person, a creation of God with a soul, a heart and a need to love and be loved. If we always stay on the other side of the street in fear how can we grow? We covet self preservation at all costs. Will the snake hurt us? Maybe he just wants to live there in peace. You know snakes are more scared of us than we are of them. As different as that person is to you, you are to that person! Stop living in fear of the unknown, God is with you, be cautious in this life but not cut off. Take the time to look at the wood pile to listen to others ideas and meet different people, take the time to learn and to grow more fully in the life God has created for each one of us.