The shot through the rattlesnake’s head had all but demolished it. The snake was twisting on the driveway, and the family gathered to look at it.
One grandson reached out to touch it. Bill grabbed him and held him back, explaining that even a dead snake can be deadly. Still, the boy was totally without fear and determined to grab the snake’s tail. But as he reached for it, the snake’s mangled head struck out. The boy jumped back, getting the message: Rattlesnakes are to be feared.
Education, it has been said, consists of being afraid of the right things.
We taught our children to be careful with matches and open flames; fear of house fires and forest fires prompts sensible precautions. We also taught them not to run into the street without looking both ways; a proper fear of cars is also legitimate.
There is one grand, noble fear we are taught from Genesis to Revelation—fear of the Lord. This is more than being scared. It is a reverential trust, not only a fear of offending, but a loving to the point that one would not want to offend.