Dreading the Snake
I’m passionate about mowing. And weed eating. It’s not the obsessive kind of passionate where everything has to be precise and perfect, rather the kind of passionate that involves wearing headphones and enjoying the productive feeling of a finished, non-snakey space.
This week, I volunteered to mow the grass at church. The mower is much larger than mine at home and I always feel like a NASCAR driver while riding this ginormous mower. I began by mowing the perimeter and tried to take it fairly slow. As I made the second pass, my heart caught in my throat. Forward moment slowed as I watched a wounded snake flip and flop where I had just mowed.
I know, all of you not-freaked-out-by-snake people don’t understand the problem. But for all of us freaked-out-by-snake people, I could just imagine running over the flopping snake with the mower and hundreds of tiny snakey body parts flinging up and wrapping around my legs and ankles. Or worse yet, a whole nest of baby snakes shooting out all over the place, landing on me and latching on like a scene in some kind of sick, twisted science fiction movie.
So, I sat there and contemplated every possible scenario as I watched the writhing snake body. Rational thinking told me, It’s just a black snake who is already wounded—get it over with. But Christy’s world of non-rational, unrealistic thinking over-rode my thought processes and I simply mowed around the snake for at least six passes.
Finally, the snake stopped moving on pass number seven. I took a deep breath, revved the motor, and closed my eyes. ZOOM! I mowed over the area and never looked back. The dread, of course, was much worse than the actual event.
This snake incident is much like life, isn’t it? When big, scary decisions loom in the distance, we stop and stare. Heart palpitations. Fear. No forward motion. All the scary what-if scenarios fill our minds, and we talk ourselves out of taking that much needed step because all we see is the writhing snake body in the grass.
That’s when we have to over-ride all those paralyzing emotions, rev our motors, and power through the scared. The act of powering through is usually way easier than the hours of fear and dread.
Are you avoiding a hard decision? Are you scared to take the necessary steps to move forward? Are you blinded by the writhing snake in the thick patch of grass? It’s time to give yourself a pep-talk, rev your engine, and go for it. Dread is usually the worst part, but even when the next step is harder than the dread, we have to keep moving forward and set our fear to the side. Let’s all be a little braver this week than we were during the last week. Afterall, it’s just a black snake.