Mrs. Billie Cannon, a Knoxville, Tenn., homemaker was preparing to paint her back porch. In order to protect the floor, she carefully placed around the edges a strip of Scotch tape– he kind with adhesive on both sides. It was her plan to place a drop cloth over the floor and secure it with the tape. Having succeeded in placing the tape around the entire surface, she went back inside the house to get a drop cloth.

Returning to the porch sometime later, she found that all of her carefully placed tape was gone. She was completely mystified. Where could it be? Who would possibly have taken the time to pull up that tape and why? As she was surveying the situation and mulling over her puzzling predicament, she noticed something moving in her back yard.

Looking more closely, she discovered that it was a snake. It was a rather large creature of its species, but it was no threat to her. It was hopelessly immobilized by being totally enmeshed in a large ball of Scotch tape. Evidently, while Mrs. Cannon was in the house, the snake had crawled up on the back porch and had eased itself onto that tape with the adhesive on both sides. Sensing that the tape was sticking to its skin, the snake obviously put up a terrible struggle. In doing so, it pulled every bit of tape from the floor. The harder it fought, however, the more hopelessly it became entangled in its adhesive prison until it was totally captive.

That poor snake reminds me of many people I have known. Somewhere along the way, they have made serious mistakes. Then, rather than calmly analyzing their situations and correcting their courses, they have reacted impulsively. Soon, their lives are like that snake's. The more they struggle, the more entangled they become until eventually they are totally immobilized psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. (King Duncan, Collected Sermons)

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