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On Guard

I remember living in the high desert with my horses and being told to be cautious of the rattlesnakes in the area. One of my neighbors told me her horse had been bit by a rattlesnake and for weeks it was “touch and go“ because the skin was falling away from the wound where this rattlesnake bit the horse's leg. A few days later I found myself absorbed in a serious phone call while I was outside with my horses.

It was common to hear the sound of rattlesnakes in the bushes but on this day a large rattlesnake about 6 feet long and 3 inches round was in my horses stall.

I grabbed a flathead shovel and made my way into the horse stall. Continuing to chat with my friend, I lay the flat side of the shovel onto the back of the rattlesnake's neck. While I continued sharing my words of wisdom and support to my friend, I rocked the shovel back-and-forth across the snake's neck -- eventually removing its head from its body. I did this all while absently-minded chatting with my friend. When I told her what I had done she will was amazed and maybe a little mortified that I could #1 do that to a live rattlesnake and #2 do it so calmly that she didn’t even know there was anything amiss.

Looking back on that day, I can see that my years of working in the mountains while on patrol and coping with rattlesnakes on a daily basis prepared me for that day. When I shared the story again, I realized I wasn’t absent minded, reckless, or even afraid of being bitten. I was calm and fully focused on the task at hand which was purely to remove any danger from my horses.

There are times when we must put our own fears aside and take care of business. A mother who steps into harm's way to protect her child or a father who stands against the evils of life can go about it with purpose as they safeguard the ones they love. When we have a purpose to protect, when the mission is to safeguard others, when there is danger everywhere, it is necessary to step up and step into the line of fire.

"Overthrow wicked people, and they are no more, but the families of righteous people continue to stand."

Proverbs 12:7 (GW)

Day 47: Safeguard

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