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Rattlesnakes! I kept telling myself that the likelihood of meeting one was ludicrous, my being in the city and all. I decided to expose and eradicate this phobia once and for all, and I knew the perfect person to laugh this farcical notion to scorn with: a seasoned bushwhacking aficionado. My plans of ‘hahahaing’ the night away evaporated, however, as I gaped in astonishment while she matter-of-factly advised me to make some noise so I wouldn’t catch one unawares and freak both me and it out.

Now I definitely wasn’t going to take that shortcut through the bush! Passing it on my daily trek, I was wilting in the California sun as I wound around the looooong way. I began to feel indignant. Doesn’t Luke (10:19) say that we can, ‘trample on serpents and scorpions?’ I decided: thus far and no more! Tomorrow I would brave the briers and thorns, defy the barbwire fence and literally put my foot down and walk the land in the authority that we have been given over these beasts!

Armed with jangling keys, the crackliest water bottle ever, and reciting my new credo (trample on serpents and scorpionstrample on serpents and scorpions…), I took a step of faith through the trees. Immediately, the ‘wild bush’ gave way to a wide open clearing, a tired fence, flattened by the masses who had trampled the ‘barb’ out of it, and the only scary critter in sight was me, talking to myself and making an obnoxious racket! I burst out laughing as I realized that the bogeyman had suckered me: I’d bought into the mountain that fear had made out of a molehill.

I don’t even want to think about how much I’ve missed out on all the times I’ve fallen for the bogeyman’s bluff! Thankfully, the joke is no longer on me.

Has the bogeyman been pulling one over on you too?