This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, May 2
Over the course of last winter, I made a purchase I had been putting off. I bought a pair of prescription sports goggles. My eyes are just not what they used to be. I can still see good enough in most things but if I want to see anything with detail, I need some help.
So I have taken a few of my morning runs with the goggles on and I have to say, it is a lot different. I have written many articles on here extoling the beauty of the tow path. Being able to see it clearly just makes it all the more beautiful. As the trees start to green up, it is just a great place to spend some time in God’s magnificent creation.
One experience I want to share with you happened the first few times I wore the goggles to run. My usual course is I start out from my house, head up the tow path, and turn left at 33. I don’t care how many people tell me there is a walk way under 33, I am not going through it. I go to the west and under the large underpass where there is plenty of room. Then back to the tow path. From there I know where the turn arounds are to run for a total of 4 miles, 4.5, miles, 5, miles, 6 miles and beyond. The tow path north of 33 is just amazing and I love being out there.
Back to my story. That particular morning, I hit the 5-mile turn around and started back. I was soaking in nature and paying attention to the sound of my feet and the rhythm of my breathing. I got to 33 and turned to head to the underpass. It was completely dry but there was some debris on the ground where water had flowed through there. I was charging up the other side when I realized something. The object on the ground in front of me I thought was a tree branch was actually a pretty good-sized snake. This big, green snake was right in the middle of my path, and I did not realize what it was until I was practically on top of it. Now, as most of you know, I am a big guy, and I probably don’t strike too many of you as being agile, but I flew over it, landed with both feet, and spun around. I could see the snake was not at all happy to have a guy my size jumping over top of it.
There is no way I would have even been able to tell that thing was a snake in time had I not had those fancy goggles on. Even with them on, I still thought it was a branch or something on the ground until my foot was about to land on it. Without them, I know that my poor old eyes would not have been able to tell the difference until I stomped it.
Would the snake have been able to swing around and bite me if I had stepped on it? I don’t know, and I’m glad that I don’t know, because there are some things I just don’t need to find out. Would it have done the snake any good if my foot had come down on it? He must not have thought so because I have not seen it on the trail since. I am happy for him.
Does this story have a moral? I guess it is a good idea to watch what you are doing because you may step into or onto many things you don’t want to if you aren’t paying attention. But I think the greater point I want to make is that if you see me wearing those stupid goggles any time, know they are not a fashion accessory. I am wearing those goggles to protect you because as my eyes get worse, the next thing I may step on could be you.
Also, if you make fun of me wearing those goggles, I am going to be able to see who it was. Just keep that in mind.