It is strange how we see things that are not usual or normal and without thinking make assumptions about what these things should be and based on that we execute actions to place them within what we consider normal parameters or usual surroundings/circumstances.
Today I was walking along a stretch of beach when I spotted a snake on the shoreline. Living in Australia one becomes accustom to always looking out for snakes, but seeing one on the shoreline at 8:15am on a winter morning is NOT usual, it is pretty unusual, and a little out of the norm to say the least. As I came closer I could see really big paw prints in the sand and the assumption was made that this snake must have been dragged or carried from the dune area by a big dog and then this dog must have been playing with it. The snake’s tail seemed mangled and flat with a puncture wound. The snake was very docile, hardly moving at all but it did ripple a muscle and I was aware that there was still life within the animal. So my human assumptions worked overtime and I spotted a gentleman with a mobile phone, I had left mine at home. I gave him the name of the wild life rescue organisation and he called, they gave him the number of a snake catcher and he called them. Someone was on their way and I proclaimed myself guardian of this snake. I assumed it was a python as it did not match any other colouring I had seen at the zoo, so assumption was that it was not venomous, was completely out of its environment and needed my guardianship.
I located a long stick, rather it was a branch, and proceeded to gently lift the docile snake so that I could carry it to safety. The last thing I wanted was for a wave to catch it and take it back to the sea. I gingerly placed it on the verge of the dune and patiently awaited the man who would take the snake into his capable care. I waited and waited….I could wait no longer as I had an appointment to attend so I ensured that the snake was hidden from curious eyes and possible dogs, marked the spot with the branch and went to my appointment. On the way home decided that I best check on the snake. To my surprise it was still there, moving a little more but still docile. I assumed that the injury to its tail was the cause of the distress. I had my phone this time and called the organisation, they called the snake man again. This time the snake man called me and then called another catcher. The third person asked me to text a picture of this so-called python so that he knew what he was dealing with. I did this, at last my python was going to be saved.
A young man approached me and was going to let his dog off the leash when I warned him of the injured snake. He turned out to be a snake catcher in his previous job as an ecologist (you do meet interesting people on the beach). As we were chatting the third snake catcher called me and told me I was dealing with a highly venomous sea snake and that under no circumstances was I to touch it! What, my python had turned into a sea snake and was now stranded up on the dune because I did not want it to be washed out to sea?? I had assumed it needed rescuing and assumed it needed to be hidden on the dune a good 20 metres from the waterline! The young man was fantastic, he offered with the consent of the snake catcher, to try to return this poor snake to the ocean where it should have been all along! With great caution and care he professionally picked up the distraught snake and took it to the water. The snake took a good 15 minutes to revive in the environment it was usually found in. I watched on in admiration and fear as the young man picked up the snake yet a second time and waded into the water (knee deep) to try and release the snake again. This time the snake swam through the breakers and is now relating to the other snakes how this stupid lady came along and picked it up and dragged it to the dunes hiding it in bushes….
You see, the flat tail is actually the fin, it is the rudder with which the snake steers itself in the water. The puncture marks were from a dog, but the snake must have become beached after chasing fish into the shallows. My assumptions were dangerous for not only my personal safety, but for the life of the snake and then the life of this very valiant young man who managed to return the sea snake back to the normal environment, the sea. I realised that I assume to easily when I hear or see something that is not normal, or unusual. I assume from my own thoughts and experiences. I am now pondering how often I hear the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth and make assumptions of what I hear, see or experience with a human mind. I think the lesson here is not to assume but to question, to seek. Yeshua tells us that if we seek we shall find. If we ask in His name the Father will answer. The Set-Apart Spirit of Truth will reveal to us and guide us, yet do we assume we understand without going to the Word, without asking for confirmation and checking our understanding? We do not merely live in a physical world, but also in a spiritual world and I fear that I assume from a physical point of reference too often thereby missing the spiritual normal or usual – make sense?
When we assume from our own understanding we can cause damage, not only to ourselves but to others around us. We can take something that is spiritually normal and turn it upside down because we don’t take time to pray it through, to seek wisdom and discernment. These are fruits of the Spirit and available to all that the Son has chosen, whom the Father has given to the Son. This lesson did not cause any harm but if this docile snake had not been so docile a lot of assuming may have led to a different scenario.
Father, I pray that You would open my ears, eyes, heart and mind that I may hear You, that You may renew my mind so that I will not assume to understand, but truly understand. In the name of Yeshua Your Son