A Most Wonderful Season

seasonsToday is March 2nd and for me that has several meanings. First, baseball season has begun! Not the “official” season but BASEBALL season. Spring training is in full swing (yes, lots of pun intended!) with the usual hope of anticipation of what could be in store for the Boys in Blue as the Dodgers take the field again. Maybe 2017 will be the year the magic of 1988 will be captured again in Los Angeles.

March 2nd also teases me with the longing for spring (which never seems to come soon enough) with winter fading into memory. The coming of spring signals the start of hunting season as bears begin their annual movements from their dens to the woods. Maybe this will be the year I tag a bruin! Soon the ice will clear and fishing season will commence as the salmon begin their annual journeys back into our rivers in Alaska.

So much of life is captured and described by “seasons”. In the big picture, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter seasons give our world very specific definition. On a micro level, seasons are innumerable. We have the sports seasons of baseball, basketball, football, and to a couple people, hockey and soccer. Outdoor pursuits feature hunting and fishing seasons, skiing season, and snow-machining season, amongst others.

Seasons, by definition, put limits on us. The each have a specific duration with which to enjoy or participate in them. Once they are gone, the opportunity is lost until the next season comes along. As a result, we plan our lives around them and experience a sense of loss if a season passes with either disappointing results or unfulfilled opportunities to participate. How easy it is to believe our lives are “less than” if a personally important season is missed!

On the other hand, there is always “next year”. The come and go of seasons always brings with them the promise of hope, the chance at a do-over. The one exception is the season we often fail to process as a season, the season that is our life.

Every season has boundaries and the season of our lifetime is no different. What IS different is we do not know what those boundaries are. We know our beginning but we do not know our end. We do not know our end but we do know there will be no “next year”. We each have one chance and one chance only for a successful season.

Psalm 90 both warns as well as encourages us when Moses writes in verses 10-12,

As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,

Or if due to strength, eighty years,

Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;

For soon it is gone and we fly away.

Who understands the power of Your anger

And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?

So teach us to number our days,

That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

Two very important points stand out.

1) Our lives will soon be over.

What does “soon” mean? Individually, we won’t know until that moment. In perspective though, compared to eternity, even 70 or 80 years is nothing. James states our lives are merely a vapor (James 4:14). They are present one second and gone the next. When the sun sets on the last day of our “season” it is over. The end of life defines finality like nothing the world has ever seen. We each have one chance to make the most of our one season.

2) We will give an accounting of our days to God.

Seasons are evaluated by statistics. How did I do? Baseball players look at wins and loses, batting average, home runs, etc. Sportsmen look at how many fish they caught, animals they harvested, and days spend afield pursuing their hobbies. When our vapor vanishes, our days are done, and the sun sets on our season, God will want to know what we did for Him. All we will have to present to Him are our days.

God is our Creator, therefore, our days belong to Him, for His purposes, for His glory. The days of our lives are a gift, a stewardship from God. He has invested them in us and one day He will ask for them back. Paul, in Ephesians 5:15-16 implores us to walk wisely and make the most of our time.

When we stand before God and He asks for an accounting of the days He has given to us, the only days that will matter will be those days that mattered for eternity; the moments that specifically brought glory to Him, spent serving Him, and doing His will.

When I stand before my Creator and Savior, the fish I caught, the hikes I took, and the games won or lost will not matter. All what will matter will be what was done for Him according to His purposes. Our lives truly are the most wonderful season.

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