Text and Photos by Monica Sharman:
I live with four family members, and all of them are male.
I still don’t get why snowball fights are fun. Why do they love being pelted with icy globs? To me, it’s like being hunted.
But they have their great fun packing snowballs while I watch from inside and take pictures with the window between me and them.
I heat water in the kettle and take out the marshmallows so the hot cocoa will be ready when they come in, red-cheeked and happy.
That’s winter. In the summers I worked with my young sons on the simple skills of catching and throwing a baseball. I told them how to position the mitt. I reminded them not to shut their eyes when the ball comes at them. I showed them that if they throw the ball with the right hand, they should step with the left foot (not the right, as they were doing).
Sometimes the progress seemed slow. At the beginning of one summer, though, I went to the backyard for one of the first throwing and catching practices of the year. They were much better than I remembered; their skill level was even better than it was end of the previous summer!
Wondering what happened, I told my husband about it. “They got so much better at throwing all of a sudden! I haven’t even been working on it that long!”
Charles’s explanation came immediately. “It’s because of the snowball fights.”
Maybe the way to get better at throwing is not so much to “work on” throwing skills. Maybe we should just have snowball fights, and the throwing will improve automatically, almost without thinking about it. Plus, it’s fun.
The Snowball Fight of Knowing God
If overcoming sin is the throw-and-catch practice, knowing God is the snowball fight. Maybe the way to get better at conquering sin is not so much to “work on” avoiding that sin, gritting my teeth and saying, “I won’t sin. I won’t sin. I won’t sin.”
Maybe if I get to know God better and better, increasing my intimacy with Him, then overcoming the sin will follow as a natural consequence, almost without thinking about it—like the snowball fights and learning to throw.
Could it be?
“And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…
No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.” (1 John 2:3-4 and 3:6, emphasis added)
I think it’s worth a try.
Knowing God more intimately—this is why I read the Bible. Plus, it’s fun.
“Remember, the goal isn’t to scan a verse for the right answer, note it, and move on; it’s to get to know God.”
– Cynthia Hyle Bezek, Knowing the God You Pray To.
Monica Sharman is a home educator, freelance editor, and author of the newly released Behold the Beauty: An Invitation to Bible Reading. She loves drumming, poetry, and karate. She and her husband, inventor of Crossbeams, live in Colorado with their three sons. Connect with Monica on Twitter or Facebook.