by Pastor Mark Fisher
March 7, 2017
We loved it when rookies came on board our crew, especially those who had never been in the backwoods. As for our latest crew member who was from the inner city? He had never been in any type of forest at all. Man, we were going to have some fun!
For him it seemed the most remote place on earth. For us it was a typical day, surveying land for the United States Forest Service in northern Minnesota. We began by cutting the survey line through the brush and timber. The snow was about 18 inches deep which provided an excellent opportunity. We turned our chatter toward the perils of the northern woods: bears, timber wolves, brush wolves, wolverines and cougars. Of course, we happily embellished and twisted some of the facts concerning them. It worked great; our apprentice was filled with fear, his imagination running wild! But we were not done; there was still plenty of room in his anxious mind for more of our tales.
Have you ever had your imagination run wild, based on the distortion of facts? The Bible affirms that fear causes torment and insecurity. The Apostle John tells believers in Christ, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” 1 John 4:18. Our minds need to focus on the facts regarding the love and faithfulness of Christ found in the Bible, not on mankind’s embellishment or twisting of the facts!
Finding out that the young man hated reptiles, we then went on to give details about the dreaded Snow Snake of the north, which dwells under the surface of the snow as it waits for its next victim, in which it can inject its deadly venom. That was it; the tenderfoot was filled with horror! He went about slapping at the snow, driving away the snow snakes with his brush axe as we had told him to do. It was a long day for him.
When the day was finished, we confessed our caper. We all had a good laugh. And I am sure he learned a lesson about his overactive imagination.