(Who is that skinny, tanned kid?)
Back in the days of my youth (I don’t believe I’m actually saying that!), there was a popular song written by “The Byrds” entitled “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There is a Season). The first stanza goes like this:
To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven
Soon after I became a Christian and began reading the Bible, I discovered that this song came from the Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three, verses 1-8. I can finish the song by quoting Ecclesiastes:
“…a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace”
The writer of Ecclesiastes goes on to say, “What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:9-13)
During the past few months, we have taken and Advent-ure by following the Christian Liturgical Calendar, which begins with Advent, then Epiphany. During Advent and Epiphany, we saw every emotion and every situation described in the song by “The Byrds” and the writer of Ecclesiastes. We saw people following and obeying God which, in many ways, is not the “easy road” to travel. And we saw people who did not obey God and were only interested in maintaining their control and power over the people under them. We also read about things that were too difficult for us to comprehend. How I wish Herod did not order the murdering of baby boys; yet this is in the Bible (Matthew 2:16-18). Like Mary and Joseph and the shepherds and Magi, I need to trust God with what I don’t understand. What Ecclesiastes says is so true: We “cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end,” but we need to trust that God is good and “be happy and do good while [I] live” and be thankful for my food and drink “and find satisfaction in my toil [God‘s will for me to do]” because “this is the gift of God.”
In examining the Christian Liturgical Calendar, I see that nothing much is going on in February, March has Ash Wednesday and Lent, April has Easter (Resurrection Sunday), and Pentecost is on June 8, 2014. After that, there is another lull, during the summer into the fall, until Advent starts again. This can only mean one thing – God is a Baseball Fan and, maybe even a RED SOX Fan! Let me explain:
February is jammed packed with important dates for the “REAL” RED SOX fan. First, on February 2nd, Groundhog’s Day, Punxsutawney Phil tells us when to expect “Baseball Weather” (the same day as the Super Bowl this year) to return. Second, February 8th is “Truck Day” – when the RED SOX equipment truck leaves Fenway “Pauk” for Fort Myers, Florida and Spring Training. Third, February 15th is when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training (after Lincoln’s Birthday and Valentine’s Day), and the first workout is on February 17th (Washington’s Birthday/Presidents Day). The rest of the team arrives on February 18th.There are inter-squad games on February 27th, with Northeastern University and Boston College, and a game with the Twins on February 28th. So, as you can see, February is pretty much booked with very important events for die-hard RED SOX fans.
After the Lenten Season , beginning with Ash Wednesday, on March 5th (spring officially starts for non-RED SOX fans on March 20th), Palm Sunday on April 13th, Good Friday on April 18th, and Easter Sunday on April 20th and Pentecost Sunday on June 8th, and a handful of state and national holidays, the rest of the spring and summer and fall have nothing going on as far as the Protestant Liturgical Calendar and regular calendar are concerned. The spring, summer and fall are when BASEBALL is played by MLB teams all over the U.S. AND Toronto and enjoyed by people like me. Coincidence? I think not.
I have a T-shirt with a little baseball in the front and a BIG baseball in the back with the words, “Life begins when the Season starts!” There is some truth to that – At least the enjoyment of baseball starts when spring officially begins on February 8th, Truck Day (not March 20th). This may seem off the wall (really off the Green Monstah), but I believe Jesus makes life fun. I believe Jesus wants us to share His joy and be happy in all the good things He gives us to enjoy. For me, baseball is one of those good things. Jesus used baseball to get me through my childhood, having to deal with a disability (cerebral palsy). Talking baseball is how I made friends. Watching baseball on TV and listening to ball games on the radio gave me something fun and interesting to do. I believe Jesus had a hand in that. Jesus is not a kill-joy as some people portray Him to be. Jesus is “the Way and the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6a) of the party After all, look at His first miracle in John 2:1-11 (a topic for another time). I experience Jesus’ joy in the beauty of spring and the new life He creates in the flowers of every color imaginable, in the new green grass and sprouting leaves on the trees, in the excited chirping of the birds, and also with the sound of the crack of the bat and thump of the catcher’s mitt. Every spring is a new beginning. Spring reminds me of all the good gifts Jesus freely gives for me and you to enjoy and be thankful for. Spring is a reminder that Jesus makes everything new and His forgiveness and grace are always there for me and you to enjoy and receive with thanksgiving and praise. With Jesus everyday is a new beginning – everyday is a spring day, filled with excitement and new beginnings. Yes, spring is just around the corner – when I and all of RED SOX Nation will hear the two words we have waited all winter to hear: “PLAY BALL!”
“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” -Rogers Hornsby
(My cat “Tulip” waiting for “Truck Day”)
I don’t exactly do that, but it takes football, hockey, and basketball (college and pro) to fill the void when baseball is over. Think about it.
Welcome to the new “followers” of my blog. This post is a light and fun post because my earlier posts were somewhat serious and dealt with more serious topics. I thought I would write a fun post for a change of pace. If you would like to read my previous blog posts, the link is https://lydslookonlife.wordpress.com .