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Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Backpack, the Snake and the Map

The Cafe welcomes Guest Barista, Julie Arduini today!

When there is a sunny day in Northeast Ohio, you take advantage because you're not sure when the sun will return. Today I took our nearly six year old daughter out on her Dora the Explorer bike. Of course it came with the matching helmet and attached to the bike was a purple backpack.

Halfway through the journey, my youngest asked if she could retrieve the map from her backpack. We stopped and she digs deep in the bag. Instead of the map, she pulls out a plastic snake.

Before I go further, let me make this clear: I detest snakes of all kinds, even the cartoon kind. As a child my neighbor loved to tease me about potential snakes but a step away. One time he was serious and I ignored him. I went to step and saw the snake. Eating a frog. I’m with comedian Bill Engvall that snakes are of the devil.

I gasped at the sight, while my daughter giggled. The snake represents a silly toy that freaks mom out. She returned the snake to the bag. As she fingered through the bag again, it hit me how her backpack contents mirror our choices and consequences.

Although we live in a fallen world which means there will be adversity and hardship, we do have a degree of control over our circumstances. We don’t have to max out that credit card. We had no business “getting creative” with our taxes. We truly reap what we sow. Yet often people lament over how they wish life came with an instruction book. A map of sorts.
We have such a thing. It's called the Bible.

In our busy schedules and the devil's plan to slowly, precisely woo us away from the map, we wind up making our own choices, and we get bit.

By the snake.

The snake next to the map.

The snake in her backpack didn't do my daughter any good; it definitely didn't help her reach her destination. However with her imagination, she grasped the map and consulted it time and time again. Before long, she found her way home.

How often do you consult the map of life?

When you dig deep in your backpack, what do you find?

A snake or a map? Which do you use?

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalms 119:105, NIV
Father, thank You for Your holy, inspired Word. Help us against all the disruptions and distractions to pour over the Bible for direction and hope. Thank you for this Map! In Christ’s name alone, Amen.

Do you feel tempted to make choices on your own without seeking God’s will?

Do you live in a way that reflects that His Word is our instruction book, our map?

What’s in your backpack?

In Him,


Julie Arduini is a graduate of the Christian Writer’s Guild and a columnist with Take Root and Write and The Cypress Times. This Spring she is moderating a great group of ladies at Christian Women Take Root through The Love Dare. She has published credits as a contributing writer. Her quote about being buried by a snow plow will be featured this summer in Kathy Vick’s Run Like a Girl. This fall her story, Who Hung the Moon Upside Down, will be released in James Stuart Bell’s book, God Sightings. To see more of her writing resume, please consult the sidebar of her blog, The Surrendered Scribe. Julie lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. She is plotting to get rid of that plastic snake.

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Blogger Theresa Miller said...

Great parallel! Thank you for that thought-provoking visual.

August 22, 2009 at 2:19 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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