Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow is like...

I often write in my head.  When I am cleaning or cooking, or shoveling the driveway, my mind just "writes."  Most of those contemplations never make it onto paper or computer.  But this is one of those contemplations that I created mentally almost a year ago, and I think it's time to put it out there. 
Now, if you love snow, maybe this post isn't for you.  But if you're mostly a hater like me, then you will relate.  Last year around this time our pastor was preaching a series on sin.  Not a popular topic, but a necessary one.  Also around this time last year we received ridiculous amounts of snowfall.  Also not always a popular topic, but in Pittsburgh in winter it is an unavoidable one.  And one day as I was taking my turn shoveling our half concrete, half rock driveway, it came to me that snow, in many ways, is like sin.  (I warned you, snow-lovers!)  Let me explain.  First, snow is like sin because just a little bit can do a great deal of damage.  A light coating on the road might not seem so dangerous at first glance, but go to fast or brake too hard, and you'll quickly find out the truth.  A little bit of snow can quickly turn into a little bit of ice.  And if you've ever totaled a car (as I have!) you know that a little bit of ice is all you need.  In the same way, just a little bit of sin can quickly and easily snowball (pardon the pun!) into a giant disaster. 

Second, snow is first.  That freshly fallen snow on the grass and trees with no footprints or dog donations or other disturbances can be enchanting.  Right now I am watching the snow fall gently out my window and it is lovely.  However, it doesn't stay lovely.  Today when we got out of the car in a parking lot my son asked, "Mom, what's all that nasty brown stuff?"  My reply? "It's slush, son.  Dirty snow."  Walk outside and it's not hard to find where the beatiful white stuff has turned a disgusting brown, mixed with dirt and rocks.  Shovel your driveway and it doesn't take long to uncover the mess beneath the beauty.  And then you've got to put that sludge somewhere, so where does it go?  Onto the clean snow in your yard, or your neighbor's yard, or the street.  Now the muck is affecting other people, too.  Sin does the same things!  It looks great on the outside - fun and pleasing to the sinful nature.  I mean, if it wasn't appealing, no one would do it, right?  But again, it doesn't take long to uncover the mess beneath the so-called beauty.  Sin may be fun for a season; but eventually consequences arise, guilt sets in, and our lives are marred by slush and sludge.  Which brings me nicely to number three: you can't get rid of snow on your own.  Sure, you can shovel and scrape all day, but you will never get a completely clean sidewalk or driveway.  Don't believe me?  Go out and try it.  I just did.  You can get it clean enough to not track snow all through your house or car, but it won't be perfect.  You can even throw salt down, which I just did too.  But that's only an outside fix.  The only thing that REALLY gets rid of the snow is the heat of the sun.  And the only thing that REALLY gets rid of our sin is the blood of the SON.  Oh, we can try our best to be good, to do better.  We can work really hard on controlling our temper and our tongue, but we will always fail.  Not to mention that doing so is exhausting!  Shoveling the driveway is backbreaking work; trying to be good enough on our own is too.  And even worse, when snow goes unshoveled for too long, that messy underneath turns to solid ice, making removal nearly impossible without a pickax!  When we let sin hang out in our life for any length of time, our hearts also become hard and require serious correction from the Lord.  Hacking away at ice on the driveway is zero fun; letting Christ hack away at the hardness of our sin is also zero fun, but well worth the pain in the end.  Jesus is the only solution for our sin problem, just like spring is the only solution for our snow problem.


  1. You write very well. You can have a job in our Tech Comm department with our Writers & Editors :)

  2. As both a snow lover and Jesus lover, I'll completely agree. Beautifully written.

  3. I love what you wrote. So insightful. So true. Perfect analogy. It really puts sin into prospective. WELL DONE!