Richard and Jane packed their bags, boarded the airplane and headed for the jungles of Africa.  The plane floated down through the clouds and the wheels hit the runway, bumped, and rolled up to the airport.  Their safari guide met them at baggage claim.  They wearily grabbed their bags, rolled them through the airport, and across the parking lot to the safari jeep.  After the eleven hour flight Jane enjoyed the wind blowing through her hair.  In about 15 minutes the concrete gave way to dirt and the jeep bumped down the road to the safari campsite.

Richard and Jane were the last of their group to arrive.  The sun sat low in the sky when  Richard and Jane dropped their bags inside the tent.  They joined the others sitting in camp chairs around the fire and listened to the safari guide giving instructions.   Jane listened intently while Richard nodded off and began to snore.  Some of the others gave him looks of disdain. 

Richard didn’t feel the need to listen to the guide.  He had picked up an “On Safari for Dummies” book about how to navigate the jungle and felt he knew all there was to know.  The guide wrapped up his speech and Jane reached over and nudged Richard awake.  “Hey, you missed a lot of valuable information.”  Richard yawned and mumbled, “Aw, I read “On Safari For Dummies” and I know everything I need to know about how to survive in the jungle.”  Jane rolled her eyes as they stood and walked back to the tent for the night.

Jane smiled,  she was watching her favorite TV show with a huge tub of Chocolate Praline Pecan ice cream.  If only that fly would leave her alone and quit tickling her arm.  “Hey, hey,  wake up!”  Her favorite TV show and the tub of ice cream slowly faded away and the reality of Richard shaking her arm came into focus.  “Sweetie!  Let’s go look at the hippos down by the river.  The book says that wild life viewing is fantastic in the dark by the river.”  Jane’s eyes no longer needed toothpicks to stay open!  “Are you crazy?  Didn’t you hear what the guide told us last night?  He specifically said not to wander the jungle at night and to especially not go down to the river because of the crocodiles.  They will eat you before you can see them!  No, I’m not going!”  Richard laughed, “Of course I didn’t hear that, I was taking a quick nap so I could be up tonight to go exploring.  Besides, what does he know, I read that book and the writer is an expert.  I told you to read it too, remember?  Now you’re just being an ole stick in the mud.”   Jane was wavering and Richard knew it.  “Don’t you love me, sweetie?  It’ll be so much fun to explore the jungle with just the two of us.”

Jane crawled out of her sleeping bag, found her clothes in the dark and slipped them on. She didn’t know her shirt was on backwards.  “It’s so dark in here,” she complained.  “Do you have a flashlight?  “Yup, sure do.”  “Well, then turn it on.”  she whispered.  “I don’t want to wake up the whole camp, I’ll turn it on later when we get on the trail.”  Richard always had a plan, that’s what she liked about him.

Richard led the way as they tip-toed through the camp and started down the path to the river.  He stumbled over a root, stubbing his toe and  scraping his nose on a protruding root.  Jane tripped and landed on top of Richard,  poking him in the eye with a branch she had grabbed onto mid-fall. “Why haven’t you turned on the flashlight?  Jane fumed.  “Real men don’t need flashlights.  I can find the river without it.  We don’t want to show the lions and tigers where we are do we?  That’s what the book said.  Besides, can’t you hear the river, we will just follow the sound and get there.”

Richard and Jane untangled arms, legs, branches and vines and managed to get back on the path in only slightly worse shape than when they started out.  The moon peeked through the branches and offered a little light.  But it grew pitch black when a gust of wind blew a dark cloud over the light of the moon.  “R-r-r-richard?  I’m scared.  I’m holding onto your shirt tail and I can’t even see you,”  whimpered Jane.  “T–t-t-turn on the flashlight, p-p-please.”  “Alright,” muttered Richard.  He turned around to face Jane while pulling the flashlight out of his pocket.  He flipped the switch and pointed it at his face.  “There, are you happy now that you can see me?”  Jane screamed like a teenage girl in a horror film.  “What?!  What’s wrong now?” grumped Richard.  Jane lifted her trembling arm and pointed.  “Did your “Jungle Dummy” book tell you what to do about that?”  Richard turned around and looked straight into the teeth of a smiling lion.

Richard thought he knew everything there was to know about surviving in the jungle.   But, he had never been to a jungle before and if he had done his research he would have realized the guy who wrote the book, “On Safari for Dummies” hadn’t either.  He should have listened to the Safari guide who had spent many years in the jungle. 

If we want to know how to survive the jungles of this world then we need to look to Jesus, because He lived here and overcame temptation.  If we want to live like Jesus then we need to pick up His guide book for us;  The Bible. 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.   Psalm 119:105

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

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