Earlier this week we got a little taste of Spring and people seemed to like it. I saw joggers, people walking in short sleeves, motorcycles, and open windows driving around town. Technically, we are a few weeks till the end of Winter, but you can sense something different in the air. The change of seasons is part of the reason I enjoy living in the Midwest, as there is always something new around the corner. Each season has its ups and downs, but there is always something good about it. How do you handle a season you are not looking forward to in your life?
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
One month from now begins the start of another season – Baseball! Do you know what is unique to this upcoming season that has not happened in 50 years? Years ago, when I was in High School, I could probably name most every player on every MLB team, used to check the league stats most every week and even enjoyed playing the game through the Summer, but that season in my life has now passed. I have to admit, I am currently a fair weather fan and don’t get too worked up over my formerly favorite teams, unless they have a shot at the World Series, but even then it doesn’t really matter much to me. At the beginning of each season, the records are all the same, 0W 0L, so everyone gets a fresh start. There may be some pressure to do better than last season, or to repeat if you were the champs, but once again, its anyone’s game and almost like pushing the ‘reset’ button on your console.
Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Psalm 90:10
We go about each day and each year usually fairly short sighted, taking care of whatever daily tasks and urgent situations arise from week to week. What we do each day plays a small part in how each year, and ultimately our lives play out. Before you know it, you are in your 60s to 70s and will be saying ‘where did the time go?’ But as the Keynesian quote goes, ‘in the long run, we are all dead.’ So the little blip we make on this earth as we pass from season to season eventually takes us to the last game. When you are standing at the plate in your last at bat, what things will you wish you had done differently, and what things will you want to do yet as the 9th inning comes to a close?
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32
If we look very long, we can all find things in our lives we regret we had done or not done, but cannot change now. The one thing we can do is to forgive others for the wrongs inflicted on us, and to seek forgiveness for our own misdeeds. Even if the person who we hurt is no longer living, we can ask God to forgive us for those things. He wipes away our sin, and a clean slate to work from moving forward. When we look back and see our failures, hopefully we can learn from them and allow them to transform us into better players as we have new opportunities to take at bats in life. As opportunities present, take some time to share what you have learned with the rookies on your team, to encourage them to mature and to develop strategies that will serve them and everyone around them better in the long run.
Yours in Christ,