Winter’s dreary days drag a gray blanket over the cold world. Spirits plunge along with the mercury in thermometers. Bare branches, brown grass, and pale skin long for the sultry touch of sunshine, but all they receive is the chilly comfort of February rain as winter blues fade to bleak black.
Then one hears those four mystical, marvelous, miraculous words: “Pitchers and catchers report!” The magical incantation causes Old Man Winter to vanish into thin air. Suddenly, the light pierces the clouds with golden streams of promise. Morning temperatures receive an early wakeup call from spring. Branches bud, lawns green, and the sun shines.
The Boys of Summer are back, and spring cannot be far behind.
Winter does not officially end until March 21. However, an early harbinger of warmer days is the advent of baseball’s Spring Training. The American and National League teams practice in the sunny climes of Florida and Arizona in preparation for Opening Day. The first to arrive are the pitchers and catchers to warm up their arms after the off-season hiatus.
John Fogarty, former lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival, sings a baseball anthem entitled Centerfield. The rock beat declares:
Well, beat the drum and hold the phone—the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-rounding third and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.
Then the chorus expresses a sentiment that any child of the game intuitively understands:
Oh, put me in coach, I’m ready to play today.
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today.
Look at me, I can be, centerfield!
Our Lenten Worship Series at Northside Church is entitled Spring Training as we prepare for Holy Week and Easter. Join us each Sunday at 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00.
Preachers and laity report!