Hope and Spring Training

My wife lost her dad ten years ago this February. Life has a different rhythm now; a new cadence of forging ahead while pausing to look back. Grief, we’ve learned, runs at its own pace. February is a bittersweet blend of painful reminders and happy memories – perhaps the sweetest of which are the Tulip Trees.
Every year around mid-February, the as the Tulip Trees would begin to bud,  my father-in-law would point out (with clock-like precision) that this horticultural phenomenon was the sign that pitchers and catchers were getting close to reporting to spring training. Spring training, of course, being the ultimate harbinger of hope for baseball purists like himself. It’s the season before the season, where optimism reigns supreme and fans can whole-heartedly declare that this will finally be the year that we win it all.
It’s a sweet memory, one that’s exclusive to friends and family who knew my father-in-law and his love of baseball. But that unique memory pivots to the wider truth behind this season – the theological fact that death is not the end. Those tiny, spring blossoms act as an annual reminder of the Gospel – that through the death of Jesus, we all have new life.
This February, as winter begins to melt into spring, remember the hope of pitchers and catchers as they report to spring training… remember that fresh blooms on old limbs reflect the good news that death was not strong enough to keep Jesus in the ground. Remember that every single year, without exception, the death of winter gives way to the new life of spring and that the resurrection of our Lord points to the future restoration of all things.

"O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."    1 Cor 15:55-57

Bubby Bryan, DOC
Uttermost Sports