One thing I like about snow is being able to throw a few snowballs. To me it is still fun to blast someone with a big ol’ fluffy snowball when they are not expecting it. With the recent snowfall and continued cold in our area, we have had several days consecutive of being able to round up a ball and letting it fly at whomever or whatever.
Years ago, when there was a considerable amount of snow on the ground at the church, several of the kids got into throwing snowballs at each other after a Sunday morning church service. I really wanted to get involved myself, but after-church pastoral duties precluded it.
One of our four year-old attenders was having a big time flinging snowballs at the bigger boys. As a precaution, I urged all of them to do their playing on the side of the church away from the older people who were in the process of departing.
A few minutes later, this same four year-old rounded the side of the church. A snowball came out of nowhere and blasted him. It happened to come from my boy, Jamin. Micaiah was right in behind holding two fresh-packed snowballs. He also blasted the kid with one of them.
The kid started crying, and screamed out at the brothers, “I tell you again now, Jamin and Micaiah – I NO PLAY NOW!” He ran back around the side of the church wailing at the top of his lungs.
“Hey!” I barked at my boys. “You two get over here beside of me right now!” They shuffled uneasily around me while I finished greeting people. It was my intention to blast them verbally for apparently picking on the kid.
Just as I was about to start in on them, the kid came running from around the side of the church. He was lugging a large chunk of snow. He blasted Jamin in the back with it. Micaiah and I both got splattered good.
Laughing with great delight, the kid postured himself defiantly, and yelled, “I tell you now – I NOW PLAY NOW!” Oh my, that was so funny to me.
Later, as I got to thinking about the incident, it rather pictured in my mind’s eye the way people deal with God. Sometimes, God’s manifested activity in our lives becomes a gross inconvenience. Much like getting blasted with a snowball, our response is often childlike. We cry out, “God, I tell you now, I no play now.” We feel discomfited because it seems as though God has the spiritual angle on us. We do not like that kind of position most of the time.
At other times, however, when we want to get re-involved with Him, we gush, “God, I tell you now I now play now!”
Regardless, there is an inherent spiritual danger when we try to define the conditions and times of relationship and fellowship with God. We sometimes tend to think that we can turn things off and then turn things on with God whenever we want to.
The Old Testament character, Esau, teaches a vital consideration on this subject. The warning is issued by the Writer of the Book of Hebrews about Esau, who wrote, “Lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
The Scripture says, “Seek you the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.” God does not throw snowballs at us, but He does direct our way conviction, mercy, and grace, which present opportunity to experience the great good God has in store for people of faith. When we indicate to Him that maybe we do not want to play, so to speak, He may not be found later on.
By contrast, life focused and centered on God “is so much fun,” not in terms of amusement, but rather in enjoyment that is discovered in “peace that passes understanding” and in the qualities of abundant life. It is like taking a handful of snow given by God, and just giving it a throw.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.
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