A few times I have encountered animals in the wild that are potentially dangerous. It’s exciting. It makes the wilderness more intriguing to know that there are still scary creatures as our pioneer ancestors faced…as long as we are really safe.
I just missed stepping on a copperhead snake one time in a local state part. Another time, my little daughter and I were watching loons on a wilderness lake when she said, “I hope we see a bear, Dad.” I hoped we wouldn’t. However, we did see one cross the road when we were safely encased in our car, making us both happy.
I once took two of my nephews camping at Isle Royal National Park, a beautiful island in Lake Superior. While hiking, we saw a magnificent bull moose in a pond along the trail. We watched, mesmerized, as this thousand + pound creature dredged up aquatic plants from the water. Raising his massive rack of antlers, dripping water by the bucket full, he glanced our way.
Suddenly, he decided to go somewhere else and marched up the bank in our direction. (Where does a 1,000 pound bull moose walk? Anywhere he wants too.)
I stepped behind a tree, as I thought I had instructed the boys to do. Moose have poor eyesight and will usually walk on by if you are fairly well hidden and don’t move. When I looked around tree, to my horror, the boys were standing out in the open gazing in amazement as the huge beast walked right by them!
Fortunately, during the summer before the rutting season, moose are pretty easygoing. The animal paid them no attention as he walked on.
The point is that one needs to be alert and take precautions when in wild country. Animals usually don’t plan on attacking people. (Except cougars and grizzly bears) They just react to what they perceive as threats as they too live among dangerous animals that would attack them or their young. Unlike some humans that specifically plan robbery, murder, and terrorism. Throw in a few politicians.
There is a threat, however, that is so quiet, sly, and insidious that it attacks us before we realize it. It is all around us. It has destroyed men, women, kids and whole families. It is temptation.
Jesus warned us about it often in the Bible, not to spoil our fun or freedom but to save our lives. At first temptation to do wrong may look attractive and the danger is alluring, when we assume we can control it. One experiment with illegal drugs, a brief, or one time affair, a quick look at pornography may not seem too dangerous. Add prejudice, judging others, hatred, gossip… the list goes on and on. It’s like the light touch of a fly’s wing against the spider’s web.
The way of dealing with dangerous animals in the wild also applies to dealing with temptation in our daily lives. Don’t get close, move away, and when necessary…Run!
“Do not let your heart turn to her (temptation’s) ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down, her slain are a mighty throng. (Proverbs 7:25-26)