Yesterday morning, as I was returning from Home Depot and Walmart, travelling south on Qualla Road between Newby’s Bridge Road and Spring Run Road, I saw a black snake in the southbound lane of the two-lane road. That section of Qualla Road is heavily wooded on both sides, and at this time of year the trees provide a shaded canopy over the asphalt.
Since there was no traffic heading north I knew that I’d move over and pass the snake so as not to kill it. Even though it wouldn’t be likely to live long on the road I wasn’t going to be the instrument of its death.
As I approached the snake its head was elevated and turned toward my car, it was going to defend itself. Poor sad thing, I thought, it doesn’t know where it is or what it is dealing with – it doesn’t know that its only chance is to move and move quickly. Someone driving behind me will likely run over it and kill it, or if it tries to cross the northbound lane the same thing is likely to happen. It doesn’t know about cars and metal and tires and speed and weight – this is not the time for it to fight, it needs to take flight.
As the snake was dealing with forces it knew nothing about, humanity does not understand that it has unleashed a horde of demons and confusion upon itself as it has sought to redefine the image of God, and to determine good and evil. The velocity of life, of electronic informational cocaine, the exaltation of economics and promiscuity (in all its forms), and the baptismal waters of narcissism are more than we can understand and live with – and so we medicate, kill ourselves and others, and live lives of such frenzy that our humanity is stripped away layer by layer amid the trivial and mundane as we, to evoke Neil Postman, “amuse ourselves to death.” Life and government by Twitter says it all.
The snake was no fool, it just didn’t know what it was dealing with. It didn’t lay the asphalt, it didn’t design and manufacture cars, and it didn’t instill a fear of snakes in many drivers that would motivate them to kill it. The snake was no fool.
The same can’t be said of us.
“Professing themselves wise they became fools,” Romans 1:22.