Is there something about living in a developed country that immediately makes you more of a wuss? I saw a snake today, and my reaction was the same as most people who’ve never lived outside a city or in Ireland (did you know that there are no snakes in Ireland?).
When I lived in rural East Africa, I saw cobras, mambas, a puff adder, a giant python... all very wild and quite deadly. My heart rate quickened slightly at the site of most of those, but my reaction was one of mostly curiosity. I observed, sometimes a little closer than I should have been, sometimes from a distance. One I helped to kill with a rock (though I was pretty sure that one wasn’t poisonous). Never once in Africa did I turn and high-tail it away from a snake.
Today though, I was walking with my family down a trail into the woods. We were barely 100 yards from the campsite when I saw a flash of movement to my left. I turned and heard a hiss, then saw the black and green mid-section of the snake as it slithered off into the bushes. My heart jumped in my chest and immediately I turned around and said something to the effect of “let’s go that other direction, on the gravel road.” Who is this wuss living in my body? It’s just a snake. Probably not even that dangerous and just perturbed that we upset his afternoon nap.
Ugh, I move to a city of millions and I forget how to live simply in and with God’s creation. Yep, civilization makes us fear the wild.