I hate snakes. All snakes. Big, little, poisonous, tame, domestic and exotic. All snakes. I recently saw a meme that referred to them as a “nope rope”. In my estimation that is the perfect name for them.
As a photographer I am always looking for great places to shoot photos. I found a local park that has swinging bridges, streams and lots of green background. I was enthralled until I saw a saw a sign that read “rattle snake habitat”. Let me tell you, on my first trip around the park I could barely enjoy it because I was listening for rattlers and watching my every step as if landmines were embedded in the trail. I really hate snakes.
I have now been to the park four times and have yet to see or hear a snake. With every trip I’m getting more confident, cocky even, now walking off the trail to get the perfect viewpoint of my subject. There have been no snakes, allowing me to enjoy the journey. My fear has lessened as my comfort level has increased.
Relationships offers us many “nope rope” opportunities. Relationships can be filled with poisons and danger. What does one do when a relationship is cause for concern? Do we wade into potential snake filled landscape with fear or with cautious regard. One approach to a questionable relationship is to familiarize yourself with that person until the threat is either confirmed or alleviated. Another option is to avoid the relationship all together, treating it like a landmine, potentially missing a good relationship all together. Wisdom is needed to make that choice.
The challenge of opening ones self to potential harm is what lies in the balance; the scorched earth of hurt feelings and emotional damage. However, I once was told that the way to treat people is to assume the good in every person when engaging them. Give them the benefit of the doubt, offering grace and understanding as an offering of love. Offer people the best until someone proves themselves worthy or unworthy of your love. Avoid the snakes but enjoy the scenery of the journey.