Sin And A Large



Oak Tree


      I grew up in the beautiful hill country of Wisconsin, where the winters are cold and long.  Nature provides an over abundance of snow that falls upon the hills during the winter months, and when winter sets in, it stays until May. 

        My brothers had worked very hard shoveling snow to make a long sledding trail down the hill behind our house.  It ran under the barbed wire fence, twisting and curving down the hill until it finally took a big turn at the bottom, where a tall oak tree stood, and opened up out in the pasture beyond.  Then they poured water down the trail, turning that winding little path into ice, with steep banks of snow on either side.

        The hard work paid off.  Soon they were zipping down that sledding trail with many shouts of laughter and excitement.  I was seven years old, and oh, how I begged my parents to let me try it out, but the answer was always ,”No.”

     In the afternoon Mom and Dad came out to watch the festivities.  The older children yelled and screamed with delight as they zoomed down the trail; the snow sparkled and danced in the sunlight, casting a thousand diamonds across the hillside.

      Finally Mother went in to begin supper, for the sun was beginning to get lower and lower in the western sky.  Still the fun on the hillside continued until Mother, at last, called everyone in for supper.  With much protestation, the sleds were hung in the shed, and everyone trooped into the house.  Everyone, that is, except me.

       In the chatter and bustle of everyone getting inside, taking off their snow-covered coats, boots, and gloves, I was not missed.  Quickly I pushed open the door of the shed and lifted one of the sleds down from the hook.  I trudged up that steep hill, settled myself on the sled and took off.  Wheeeee! I was flying! I had never gone this fast on a sled before…I flew over every little knoll, cold wind reddening my cheeks, laughter bubbling up from deep inside.  This was just as wonderful as I thought it would be—until I came to the curve at the bottom of the hill and the big oak tree!


     My sled and I flew up over the embankment and smacked right into that tree!  I was thrown into the snow and lay, flat on my back, Pink, green, yellow, and blue stars flashed before my eyes.  I do not know how long I lay there, but when I came to, I picked myself up, took the sled to the shed and hung it up.  I quietly made my way into the house, hung up my coat, hat and gloves, and slid into my seat at the supper table, a very subdued little girl.  Because I did not want to be punished for disobeying, I never told my parents what I had done until I was a grown up lady.

         My sled ride is just like sin.  Sin seems like a lot of fun for a while as we are zooming down the hill, until we meet the tree and come crashing to a halt, broken and bruised.

       Do you think mother and Daddy knew that I was too young to handle the sled on that dangerous trail?  Yes, of course, they did.  Did they tell me, “No” because they did not want me to have any fun?  No, they did not.  They loved me and did not want me to get hurt.  That is just how it is with Jesus, He loves us, and He does not want us to get hurt either—and sometimes He has to tell us “No,” not because He does not want us to have any fun, but because He want to keep us from getting hurt.  He knows what is best for us, and if we always trust and obey him our lives will be filled with happiness.

      Will you decide to always obey Him right now?  I know it will make the angels in heaven burst into song, and it will make Jesus very happy too.

Barbara Bender




A boy who was hurt on a sled.