This morning I got up in need of exercise. My energy level was really low and I decided to fight it off with some good ol’ fashion exercise.

My normal run did not appeal to me, but the bike/running path I take was calling to me. In this neighborhood there is a running path about a half mile away. The majority of this path is shaded by tall pines which makes for a nice cool haven while exercising. There are birds and squirrels and other such wooded creatures seen while running and it makes for a nice little nature walk/run.

But today I wanted something more. I wanted some more aerobic exercise. I decided to pull out the roller blades!! *hear the adventure music start.

I have not put these roller blades on in probably 5 years, if not more. So I pulled out my long socks (I only have 1 pair of crew socks and they are kept strictly for the purpose of roller blading), and strapped on my blades and wrist guards and after a shaky start off I went.

I did pretty well on the way there, I only had to run into a tree once to re-catch my balance and there was no one around to see it so maybe it didn’t happen! ha!

I get to the path opening and really start moving. The coolness of the shade, the breeze I am creating for myself and the worship song I am singing to God are keeping me moving. About this time, I see it…..the branch looking thing lying across half of the path that can only be A SNAKE!!!

Now, let me ‘splain. I HATE snakes. Sorry to those of you who think they are great, or would make good pets, or perhaps are just indifferent to them. I HATE them. I have been told all of their “redeeming” qualities and don’t believe a word of it. A snake is bad snake and that is the end of my thought process. I realize I am closed minded about this, but I will accept that characterization and move on with my life, thank you very much!

So at the point I meet this 2 foot long snake in my path I am going down a slight incline. There is no way that I can stop, there is no way I can go off the path; I have to keep going. I pushed off and skirted around this fear of mine which for all I know was a deadly copperhead (I did not turn around to look or stay around to ask). I just pushed past my paralyzing fear and kept going!

For the rest of my time, with my eyes pealed for more snakes in my path (I did not encounter anymore Praise God!)…I began to think about my life. It is very similar to this blading ride.

I am on a pathway…headed in a direction that I want to go…with great things ahead of me. The exercise of life is rewarding though not always easy, but is good for me. Along this path I am going to encounter snakes. Metaphorically, as well as realistically; and in meeting with these snakes/deadly fears in my life I have some choices. I can turn back, go back to where I came from and stay fat and unhealthy, I could stop and become paralyzed and stagnant immobilized and useless, or I could face my fears and cruise on past the snakes in my pathway and reach my goals.

Today I choose to face my fears, to leave that snake in my rearview and not look back. He did not conquer me today, and he won’t tomorrow either. I have the ultimate of Snake Killers on my side, and I have no reason to fear.

Philippians 3:12-21 (from the Message)
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.

15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.