Graceline: Let’s stick together and keep on rolling

June 16, 2013 

Warren Buffett said life is like a snowball. All you need is wet snow and a long hill.

You have to have wet snow. Have you ever tried to make a snowball out of powdery snow? You just can’t make it stick together. When you throw it, it scatters like a herd of cats at a dog show. Wetness is what makes snowflakes stick together.

God created us to stick together. We were created for community. Community is a group of people who have something in “common,” interacting and bonding together. It doesn’t matter what that something is. Being together is what matters.

In order to fully enjoy true community, you need a long hill. You make a big snowball by starting with a handful of wet snow and setting it loose down a hill. As it rolls, it picks up more snow. It just kind of happens as it goes.

Relationships are the same way. You find a few “wet” people with whom you have something in common, and you just get together. You find hill, a Journey, if you will.

Gravity provides the momentum for the snowball, and God’s Spirit provides the power to bond you with each other as you journey through life together.

Sin and a fallen world have shamed us, and so we hide our true identity behind masks to cover our flaws and scars. But we all have them. And we all need to share our lives and journeys with some other “wet” people so we can be whole. It takes time, but it is worth it. Just ask the Skin Horse from “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams:

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old, his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger. ...

“What is real?” asked Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said Skin Horse. “When you are real, you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally by the time you are al, most of your hair has been rubbed off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Once you understand how beautiful you are to God, it doesn’t matter if people think you are ugly. As a matter of fact, some of the most beautiful people I know have quirky joints and most of their hair has been rubbed off.

So find some wet snow, and keep on rolling.

Kenny Ashley is pastor of The Journey at Lake Wylie.

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