Yesterday, we visited Cedar Creek Lake, a shallow but very large lake in Texas. Our host’s aunt owns a lovely home out there. She offered to let us hang out and enjoy the lake.
We got there just before noon. The sun blazed down. We had packed sandwich fixings for lunch. We ate our cold cut sandwiches and chips out on the deck, taking in the view. Hummingbirds fed right in front of us. A stiff breeze blew in from the west. Zac and I finished first. The lake, brown and choppy, beckoned.
“Wanna go out, Mom?” Zac asked.
“Sure,” I said, standing up.
Our host looked up.
“Oh,” he said. “Watch out for snakes.”
The bottom dropped out. What?!
“What kind of snakes?” I asked.
“Water moccasins,” he said.
As in, poisonous. As in, bites can be fatal.
“Well,” he backpedaled. “They hang out by the dock, mostly.”
Suddenly, swimming fell off the agenda. Dorothy, we’re not in Washington anymore. I spent a few minutes wondering if they were punking us, pulling a fast one. They ate their lunches, seemingly unconcerned about imminent doom.
“They won’t come out today. The water’s too choppy.”
Ruby freaked. Zac was hesitant as well. And me? I didn’t really want to get in at all. But I knew I had to brave it. Otherwise, my kids would miss out. We’d be okay, right?
I walked down to the water. The kids trailed behind me. The rough water lapped against the metal ladder. Foam and tree branches knocked together. It looked uninviting.We could just walk away.
“I don’t want to get in there,” Zac said.
“And…snakes!” Ruby said with a shiver.
I stepped down into the water. Fearful, I took slow steps. I prayed. Oh faith, where had you flown? One, two, three steps and the silty bottom. The water felt like a bath. A murky bath, but a warm one.
“Come on in!” I called. “We’ll be fine.”
Ruby stepped in first, then Zac. Everything that brushed us caused us to jump. Lots of fish in the lake, we heard. A few pieces of driftwood rolled around with us. Little by little, we relaxed. We rode jet skis. We swam and floated and splashed.We took turns riding the jet skis, provided for our use by the generous aunt. We tore up the waves. We laughed as the spray hit our faces.
“Hey, I didn’t mean to alarm you,” our host said later. “But I thought you should be aware.”
He’s right. It’s important to be aware. Living life means danger lurks near us all the time. Electricity. Driving in cars. Heck, even while walking outside something could fall on your head. You have to stay alert. Life involves risk. But it shouldn’t keep us from exploring and trying new things.
“…they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; …” – Mark 16:18