I have seen more snakes this summer than I care to have ever seen in my whole life. That's just one of the joys of hiking through the woods in the summer. There are snakes!
One thing that I've noticed is that black snakes are pretty easy to spot. For one thing, the ones I've seen have been quite large and long. One of them even had bright yellow stripes down each side. Supposedly, black snakes are harmless, but still, I try to keep my distance from these slithering creatures.
We've also had the "privilege?" to come across two different copperheads. Now, these snakes are very dangerous. I've discovered they are also VERY difficult to spot. Because they blend in so well with the dirt, dried leaves, and sticks, copperheads are almost impossible to see. In fact, both times we've come across them, Tippy and I just about stepped on them. We just didn't see them.
Do you have any idea how scary it is to be taking a step and have someone grab your arm and shout, "Stop! Snake!"? Let's just say you might need a change of clothes! The funny thing is that even after Jason stops me, I have to study the ground carefully to spot the danger. Sure enough! It's right in front of me. It gives me the chills every time I think about it. I've been so close to danger without even realizing it!
In the same way, some of the dangers in our Christian walk are easier to spot than others. Some things are black and white. They are the black snakes of our Christian journey. They stand out starkly against the background of life, easy to spot and avoid.
Other dangers in the Christian life are like the copperhead. They blend into the background so well that we often don't realize they are there until we're upon them. A few examples I can think of right off are: neglecting our time alone with God, allowing bitterness to take root, pride, failure to forgive, etc. We know that these things are wrong and that they are a great danger to our Christian walk. However, they often cloak themselves in their surroundings so that we are not aware of them until it is too late.
The solution? Watch where you're walking! I've found that Jason can spot the copperheads much better than I can, so I've started walking behind him, following in his footsteps. (This also keeps most of the spiderwebs from getting me. Sshh! Don't tell Jason.) We can do the same in our Christian walk. God is our Guide, and He can spot the danger that is lying in wait for us. If we follow Him and walk in His footsteps, we will be less likely to find ourselves inches from danger without even realizing it is there.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. - Psalm 37:23