Ever wondered what to do if you’re attacked by an Anaconda?

The list below is handed out to those traveling to the jungle regions in South America.

Your instructions:

If an anaconda attacks you, do not run. The snake is faster than you are.

Lie flat on the ground.

Put your arms tight against your sides and your legs tight against one another.

The snake will come and begin to nudge and climb over your body.

Do not panic. [Really?]

After the snake has examined you, it will begin to swallow you from the feet end. Always from the feet end.

The snake will now begin to suck your legs into its body. You must lie perfectly still. This will take a long time.

When the snake has reached your knees, slowly and with as little movement as possible reach down, take your knife, and very gently slide it into the side of the snake’s mouth and the snake’s head.

Be sure your knife is sharp.

Be sure to have your knife.

The above list is just one of many reasons I’ve not been able to put down the book, “Running on Empty” by Fil Anderson.

The list was an eye opener, but it’s how he polished off the story that gained my immediate attention (and hasn’t let it go!).

“I don’t imagine an anaconda will ever attack me, but I’ve nonetheless spent a good bit of time reflecting on these instructions and their implications for my life. Sometimes I’m aware, and other times I’m clueless, that things in life are ready to swallow me. By God’s good grace, I’ve begun to understand the way to deal with those things is to be still, to be quiet, to have a plan, and to know what I’m going to do and the way I’m going to do it when the threats appear.”

He lists a multitude of reasons we find to avoid silence and solitude:

“I never know where to begin.”
“When I get quiet my mind begins to wander.”
“My prayers always lead me to begin thinking about people I need to see or work I need to complete.”

Fil goes on to share that although his excuses seem reasonable, they are nothing more than avoidance. He considers intentionality to be the key. Our time with God must be deliberate.

Simple actions we can practice to invite God to speak to our souls:

  • Claim the little solitudes that already exist in your day. Before getting out of bed, take a few moments to greet God with gratitude for waking up and providing another day.
  • During your morning shower ask God to keep your thoughts pure throughout the day.
  • If eating alone, invite Jesus to be your companion.
  • Turn off the radio in your car. Listen for His voice instead.
  • While waiting for an appointment or a traffic light – both are opportunities to “wait upon the Lord” in silence.
  • Use your lunch break.
  • Find special places for solitude.
  • Seize the opportunities that are available. Stay up a little later or get up a little earlier. Being intentional about communion with God sometimes involves a schedule shift or special accommodations to allow things to happen.
  • Drop all expectations. Time with God isn’t an assignment to be graded. Neither is it a means to an end. The goal is not greater peace of mind or a lessening of anxiety or self-improvement. The goal is to meet with God and possibly hear from God.
  • Slow down. The pace of life can pull us away from our awareness of the Lord’s nearness.
  • Exercise the body and the soul. Use times of physical exercise for silence and solitude. Noticing the sights and sounds of God’s creation can be an excellent help in maintaining a clear awareness of God’s presence.

Any wonder I can’t put this book down?

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