Even a comical run in with some of the local creatures gave us some great memories. (WARNING: the following story has no deeper meaning so don't be disappointed. Just laugh and enjoy it).
Morgan and Landon were hanging out close to the bank on a water trampoline while Lisa, Abby and I were floating in the middle of the river. Harrison was up on the dock and had been fishing for about 30 minutes or so when he howled, "Oh, crap!"
We quickly determined that Harrison had seen a snake floating under the dock towards the steps that came up out of the water. Instantly the squeals of my three girls pierced the quiet. So, as much as I hate snakes, I knew I had to figure out some way to get all five of us past that snake and out of the water. I began to float toward the dock, watching for the head of our new visitor to pop up. He was toying with me. Every so often, his head would appear and then he would descend again. I had images of him dropping below the water and making a beeline toward me.
I'm not afraid to admit that I was just a little nervous. As I got closer, two things filled my mind: number one, I hate snakes! (The only good one is a dead one in my mind.) Number two, I was on his turf and had absolutely nothing in my hands to fight him with should he decide to come closer.
I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed. Out loud. "Dear God! I know you are maker of heaven and earth and you control all of creation. I know you created this snake and I know you can keep him right there on that rock where I can see him until I get my family out of this water." I'm serious. I prayed it hard....
...and in the background, just after I said "Amen," I could hear my sweet wife screaming, "That's it, baby. Claim it in Jesus name. Just claim it."
I can't help but laugh now. It seems so funny. The end result was that the snake stayed put, my family got out safely and dozens on the banks of the Caney Fork River in Tennessee came to know God this weekend. Okay, the last part may be a stretch. But thanks to our four-foot friend, the Barrons created one more memory that we will share as a family. And I got to see, once again, the power of a prayer prayed in faith. I'm a true believer.