July 30, 2011


The Ridge.

Sacred and dear to the heart of Ouachita Hills Academy and College students of many generations.
Many a Sabbath afternoon has the entire student body piled into the old blue dump-truck and chewed excitedly on dust all the merry way to that little rocky outcropping. College students gather there to close Friday or Sabbath afternoons with prayer, scripture songs and hushed hearts. One year, a dedicated group of "Ridge Hikers" had their morning devotions there for nearly a semester.

So this afternoon found Lorina and I on our way to The Ridge. Over the river, up the sweaty hill, through the woods, and to the rocks we went. And then...
...she saw him. And if Lorina could scream she would have screamed.* Instead she passionately announced, "There's a SNAKE!!"
And there he was indeed. Mouth wide open and fangs clearly showing. This buddy meant business and he did not want to be messed with. His beady eyes threatened, "If you come any closer I'm gonna....."
He didn't need to worry. We were most certainly not interested in getting any closer than we were already.
After looking closely enough at him to determine enough characteristics so that we could identify him later (copperhead...eeeeshhh) we decided to scale the rocks straight up the face in order to avoid going anywhere near him.

After a powerful hour of reading random Bible passages and wordlessly watching the sun change from white to pink and then disappear, we hurried to beat the darkness back to our car (we lost, btw, but it was a great adventure in the dark woods anyways. :-D)

And believe you me... on the way back down these little chickens checked every single possible place a snake could think to crawl. Every footstep placed oh, so gingerly. And even though we had thrown rocks at him (from a safe vantage point far above him) until he reluctantly slithered away, we couldn't bring ourselves to go anywhere near that defiled rock where he had lain. He might have been close, you know...

The walk back to the car was a time of reflection...
So this is what it is to "watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation." Mt 26:41

Fully alert.
On guard.
Watching what enters through the avenues of the soul.
Avoiding the place where temptation lurks.
Eliminating whatever creates a distaste for prayer.
"Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude 23

And oh, the beauty and power in the promise: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7

"Blessed is he that watcheth." Rev 16:15

*facetious statement. Lorina is very capable of screaming I'm sure... I just have yet to witness it. :-)


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