Tim's Blog
Jumping Cactus and the Siren call of Sin
March 28, 2018
Life Lesson … Some experiences are much more fun/funny to remember than to actually experience!

Sandy and I had a wonderful day driving to the top of Mount Lemmon, a 10,000 foot peak near Tucson.  It was a beautiful drive with lots of sweeping vistas, canyons and a couple of hikes to get us a closer look.  

As we returned to town, Sandy had her heart set on stopping by the Santa Cruz river walk that had been advertised on-line.

When we finally found the “River Walk” we found a dry river bed that didn’t look like it had seen a drop of water for months!   The river bed was “bone dry” with desert vegetation growing in it.  Although disappointed, we decided to walk along the river walk and just look around for a while.   It was a pretty desert view after all.

As we walked, we noticed that there were many cacti growing in the area.  One of them looked particularly inviting so we stopped to investigate. I saw the cutest little round ball of a cactus, with cute little stickers all over it and I thought, “One of our friends would enjoy that!”  I thought I could pick it up and gingerly place it in a sack or something back at the car.  So, I reached out to pick it up. As my fingers neared it, the wicked little thing seemed to just jump out and stick to my hand!   I couldn’t shake it off and if I had touched it with my other hand, it would have only been stuck as well!   I could smell the evil coming from that little stick bush in my hand and it was beginning to burn!  So, I did the natural thing.  I turned to my mate for help!

Unbeknownst to me, Sandy had decided to nudge one of those little hellions with her toe!  She thought she could do that with the sole of her sandal and be unscathed!   But alas, the little critter jumped up and stuck in her toe!  How do you get that off your toe?   Well, you balance on one foot and try to pull it off!

That’s when I walked up seeking help!  Have you ever balanced on one foot while trying to pull a hellcat off your other foot?  Guess what happened!  She staggered – into me, into the hand that had the ball of fire stuck to it!  She slammed my free hand into the little bugger and one of its spiny thorns went into my finger and another under the fingernail!  

What a predicament it was with Sandy hopping around and both of us yelping in pain!  My hands were worse off than before and now blood was appearing around those wicked little barbs on both of us!  Nasty critters!    

Well, it took some doing, but we managed to extricate ourselves from the mess and decided from then on we would need to give the jumping cactus a wide berth, indeed, maybe all cacti! 

As we searched the internet later that day, we found that the cholla cactus has barbed spikes which many people have insisted just “jumped” out and attacked them when they got close to it.  We would agree.  It was definitely a Lucy & Ethel moment and we definitely hope that nobody was watching … such a funny memory, definitely more so than the actual experience!  Regardless, for us, it was a River Walk to remember!

Now as I consider the above “funny” story, I am reminded of how inviting sin appears.   Sin often seems so harmless, so desirable, so innocent!  And yet when we get ourselves caught up in the sin we find that it has barbs that cling to us and cause us such pain.   Paul writes of “fiery darts” in Ephesians.

“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”  Ephesians 6:16, NKJV.   Temptation and sin are those fiery darts.

We are also reminded to be constantly on guard, remembering that our adversary the devil seeks to devour us as a roaring lion!  (1 Peter 5:8) There is a price to pay for sin, always a consequence! 

Let us beware! Avoid those sins that call to us with their siren calls!   

And by all means, avoid those cute little cacti!

Blessings to all,

Tim & Sandy

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