In all fairness, I can't blame him. I encountered one of our l-a-r-g-e native lizard-eaters in our garage a couple years ago. That thing was nearly as big around as my wrist and a good 5 feet long--maybe more. I screamed at him, he hissed back at me and for months I used extreme caution any time I needed to go into the garage.
Judging from Boo's reaction, I fully expected that encounter to keep him from playing outside for--maybe--ever. I also figured he'd want nothing to do with snakes either.
But this weekend we went to a birthday party at a nature center and guess who wanted to touch the snake the guide was showing to the kids?! Not Bug.
Talking later with my friend Lorry, she made the point that she tells her classes that when it comes to 'bad' things like smoking or doing drugs, it isn't some big scary guy with gnarled, yellow teeth and bad breath who will entice them to start a health-killing, ugly habit. On the contrary, it's going to be someone they like. Someone they trust. Someone they want to impress.
Isn't that the way it is with sin in general? It isn't the scary unknown that sucks us in; it's our 'friend.' A loved one. Someone we want to impress. When someone lovely holds the temptation, it's easy to give in. We override our own innate sense of caution to partcipate.
After God set Eve and the Serpent at odds, He gave us the inborn sense to flee when we encounter slithery things. But we can become de-sensitized to that natural response by continually creeping closer and closer to the very thing that once repelled us.
This is why I believe it is so important to make a standard, set a boundary and do everything you can to give that boundary a wide berth. It's not always easy. It is more fun to flirt with the edge.
I'm not going to bother to spell out those temptations. They differ for each of us and if I name one or two, it's easy to dismiss the point with a "well, that's not an issue for me." But we all have our weaknesses.
Your creepie crawlie could be a big serpent. The kind that trips you up when you encounter it. It might be just a little caterpillar, slowly chewing away at your resolve to live the life you desire--the life God desires for you.
My prayer for each of us is that we nurture that desire to flee the things that God has told us will bring us harm--no matter who is holding it.
"Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41