Snakes. I am aware that there are good snakes and bad snakes, but I don't like either of them (or sticks that look like snakes). Today a black snake found its way onto our screened in patio. The boys yelling 'snake', me calling my husband to come take care of the intruder, it was a little bit chaotic. It wasn't moving. Had it arrived on our patio to pass the time warming itself in the sun or to pass away? Yikes. Oh it moved. Me yelling like a girl and telling the boys get inside. Here comes my hero. My husband demonstrates his snake wrangling technique to the younger generation. It was a good snake, so he captured it, offered it for petting purposes and released it to roam about once more. Away from the patio, thank you very much. Yes, he offered to take care of the situation on a more permanent basis, but we need our good snakes. At least that's what I tell myself. Repeatedly. Whenever I encounter one of them. It's a ritual for me. Those sticks that look like snakes, those sticks die. Chopped into pieces. Bad snakes follow the path of stick snakes. Chop, chop, chop. However, good snakes are released back into their world to do their own thing. Snakes. Sometimes we find snakes in the most unexpected places. Hiding under a rock or behind our toilets. They are sneaky and they can take us by surprise. We can find them hiding in our lives too. Those things that sneak up on us. Suddenly, we realize that we have to make a decision. We have to determine if they are good for us or if they need to be chopped from our lives. We have to take a good, hard look and ask ourselves, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Take heart. There is goodness out there in the world. Wise people, relationships with sustainability, things that positively impact our behaviors and our lives. If you find yourself surrounded by negativity, dragging around some leftover baggage from the past, or being influenced in the wrong direction, change your direction. Chop away at the deadwood. Remove yourself from things that are a bad influence on your life. Find and foster a relationship with people who build you up and give wise counsel. Just like the snake situation today. Determine if this a good thing or a bad thing and act accordingly. Good friends and good influences help us thrive when we are 'released back into the world'. Stay sharp. Proverbs 27:17 NLT "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."