I have been reviewing a book recently that I read many years ago. It is called, Raising Kids to Love Jesus by Norman Wright and Gary Oliver. I have been focused on the chapter entitled, “The Battle for Your Child’s Heart.” There is a very funny section that addresses the real challenge of dealing with all the philosophical, social and spiritual influences that are clamoring to “gobble” up our kids.
Let me share it with you…
“This past year a friend of mine pulled something off the internet that is said to have come from the U.S. Government Peace Corps manual for its volunteers who work in the Amazon jungle. It tells volunteers what to do in case they are attacked by an anaconda, the largest snake in the world. An anaconda can grow up to 35 feet long and weigh between 300 and 400 pounds.
Here is what the volunteers are told:
1. If you are attacked by an anaconda, do not run.
2. Lie flat on the ground. Put your arms tight against your sides.
3. Tuck your chin in.
4. The snake will come and begin to nudge and climb over you.
5. Do not panic. (I am panicked just reading about it!!)
6. After the snake has examined you, it will begin to swallow you from the feet end. Permit the snake to swallow your feet and ankles.
7. The snake will now begin to suck your legs into its body. Lie perfectly still. This will take a long time.
8. When the snake has reached your knees, slowly reach down, take your knife and very gently slide it into the side of the snake’s mouth. Then suddenly rip upwards, severing the snake’s head.
9. Be sure you have your knife.
10. Be sure your knife is sharp.” (Copied from pages 16-17)
Now I don’t know about you, but the wisdom of “allowing” a 35 foot snake that much access to my body just does not seem wise. I know snakes can move quickly but fleeing seems like a better first response. My fall back position would be to allow him to swallow most of me while I fiddled with my knife!
In much the same way, I think that as parents we ought to be exceptionally vigilant at the start of this New Year. Take time this week to consider the surrounding influences and messages bombarding your child. Really listen to what is being said on the TV. Consider carefully the lyrics of the songs wafting through your car. What is your neighbor reinforcing about character development?
Are these messages consistent with your values? What matches up with the Word of God? And if it does not, quickly get your proverbial knife out and start whacking! Our kids need our insightful protection, not just from human predators, but from other kinds of “anacondas” as well!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel