After our regular football game on a broad terrace of the Pajifond Hill, depending on the season, we would either stone the mango tree on top of the hill or collect cashew nuts to play the game called ‘BOT’TEANIM’. Many an evening was spent sitting on the cemetery wall of the Carmelite Monastery, counting the cashew nuts we’d collected from the trees on the hill. My friends and I were a daring lot and cemeteries did not bother us. Also, our parents believed that the monks who were buried in that cemetery were good souls and therefore they never forbade us from going there.
Some of you may not even have heard of this game! Well, to vet your curiosity, I’ll explain it to you. To play this game, it was necessary to find a ‘freak’ nut (basically, a very big nut) and fill the shell with melted lead to make it heavy (Incidentally, if you’ve grown up in Goa, you may have heard your elders call some fool a ‘Bot’to’ … Now you know why! They meant his head was full of lead!!!) Each person had to put down an equal number of the collected nuts ‘on edge’, on a line drawn in the mud. From that line a measure of 7 large strides had to be taken and another line was made on the ground. The idea was to throw the ‘BOT’TO’ at the line of nuts. The number of nuts dislodged from the line were yours to keep! There were days when I would come home with my pockets full of cashew nuts and then sadly, there were days when I would have none!
Now for a moment, let us consider the following scripture:
Romans 5:15(NLT) - For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.
By the above scripture we know that those of us who are not living by the knowledge of the above scripture and have not understood the ‘grace’ available through Jesus Christ , as Lord and Saviour, are like the ‘nuts on edge’, facing the ‘Bot’tes’ (Problems, lies, false promises, doubts, sickness, etc) that are thrown at them by the devil, who is out to wrench souls from returning to God.
If we have the WORD engraved on our hearts, no matter how big the problem, WE WILL overcome it! WE WILL NEVER BE KNOCKED OFF THE LINE OF TRUTH!