Bindings: Reflections on faith, life, and good books
Every state in the union has had snow this winter except one. No, it is not Hawaii. Snow on top of The Big Island’s Mauna Kea (at 13,796 feet) is not uncommon. Florida has not had snow. Alabama has but we haven’t seen any of the white stuff down in Opelika/Auburn. The kid in me stills enjoys seeing a little snow – I did say a “little.” There is not enough kid in me to want to live in Boston. I grew up in the north but not quite that far. Okay, I grew up in northern Alabama; northeast Alabama to be exact. While we rarely had large snowfalls, we usually enjoyed a few school free days each winter. Of course that can happen simply because of a forecast of snow. Northern Alabama had snow several times this winter while we had none. Depending on your opinion, that may or may not have been a good thing.
If you enjoy snowmen, snowballs, snow-cream, the beauty of fresh fallen snow, or sliding down a hill, then you probably like snow. If you don’t like any of those, don’t have a hill or a sled, then perhaps rain is fine. As a kid, I didn’t have a sled but I had a great hill. Patton’s Pond had a big earthen dam across one end. The back side of the dam was a long sloping hill that ended at the edge of my family’s property. When it snowed we slid down that hill on anything that would slide. That included cardboard boxes, a Radio Flyer wagon without its wheels, and an old car hood. We even tried a few things that didn’t slide so well. We discovered that a number two wash tub doesn’t make a good sled or boat (that’s another story). One winter we made ourselves a great sled. Coca-Cola had given my Dad a sign to put in front of his business. The top of the sign was a large, round, red piece of metal with the Coca-Cola logo painted on it in white. Eventually someone ran off the road and knocked down dad’s sign. My buddies and I removed a few screws and took that big round top off and apart. That left us with two bowls that were about four feet in diameter. We cut pieces of thick rubber from an old truck tire inner-tube and bolted them to our makeshift sleds for handles. We enjoyed our homemade sleds for years until one summer someone had the bright idea to use them for boats. We quickly realized that they slid much better than they floated!
Even if you don’t like sliding, or you don’t like snow at all, surely you must love snow-cream. Did you just ask “What is snow-cream?” That is a bowl of snow with milk, sugar, and flavoring stirred in. You can make any flavor but please know that yellow snow does not make lemon flavored snow-cream.
Snow and trials have one thing in common; our liking or disliking them does not affect their arrival. There is not one single thing we can do to make it snow or to stop it. While we may bring on some of our own trials, and we can stop some of them, others will come our way no matter what. What then? The Apostle Paul had his share of trials. He couldn’t always stop them but he said, “I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.” I don’t believe he was fatalistic but I do think he had learned to make snow-cream out of snow!
Dr. Bill King is the powerful writer of the novel But You Shall Receive Power and the creator of the humorous character known as Billy Bob Bohannon. Bill has performed as Billy Bob for churches and civic groups across the nation since 2002. His first book of Billy Bob humor, No, Really, My Name is Brother Billy Bob Bohannon, was published in 2009. The fun continues in his follow-up books, My Name is Still Brother Billy Bob Bohannon and Clean Up the House, Boys, Mama Has Hired a Maid (both OakTara). Billy Bob will have you laughing at his tales, but before you know it, he’ll sneak in a lesson for life. Bill draws from his theological training and years of pulpit ministry but in a way that is not preachy.
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