While most people are preparing for their New Year’s celebrations, reflecting on 2017, or pondering what’s ahead for 2018, I’m here thinking, “Six weeks. I’ve got about six weeks until Spring Training.” Those six weeks will fly just like the rest of our “Off-Season” flies by. Our “Off-Season” isn’t really time off. In just a few short months we are trying to cram in a lot of things. We usually aren’t somewhere on a relaxing vacation for weeks at a time or even for a few days. Instead we hit the ground running as soon as we get back home in September (this past year it was October) doing things around our house that were neglected for six or seven months, catching up with family and friends, cherishing as much time as we can with each other because when Baseball Season comes around, time with each other is very limited.
So, yesterday was the day my brain clicked into baseball prep mode. I start my Spring Cleaning around the first of January. I scrub down this house, pack away valuables, get together a load for Goodwill, and get it organized for the coach who will be living in our home while we are away. Chattanooga has a AA team with the Minnesota Twins, so it works out perfectly for us. I want everything just so because I want that coach to feel right at home. Next, I will make sure the two bins that I leave packed and ready to load into our truck, don’t need something replenished. People have asked me if we move everything (including furniture) in and out of our house every few months. Well good golly people, no. I have two storage bins, one for kitchen supplies and one for linens to take to the apartment we will be renting. I could write for ‘Real Simple’ magazine because during the Baseball Season, that’s how we live, real simple. It wasn’t that way in the beginning of my baseball adventure. I would cram the car with everything, even a mop and a broom, as though we were going to some far off land for the baseball season where no mops or brooms could be found. Nowadays, two storage bins and a couple of suitcases…..done. I get organized with everything in its proper place. I get prepared for the months ahead to the best of my ability knowing that somewhere along the way, there will be a glitch or two, or three…..
The beginning of a new year and I’m thinking a lot of people are wanting to get some things straight, clean some stuff out, pack away 2017 because maybe it wasn’t such a great year. People are wanting to move on and are looking forward to 2018 and what it may bring them. They are hopeful about their finances, health, and happiness. They make resolutions and organize them each in their little “bins” preparing for what is ahead as best as they can. However, life isn’t perfect and there will be glitches. Every December I read posts on Facebook about how bad the last year was and how people are ready to move on to the new year. There was a time when I would have looked back and the bad would have stood out as much or more as the good from the past year, but not any longer. As I sit here for a few moments in the midst of my brain being in prep-mode for baseball, I also look back at 2017 and believe it or not, all the good is what stands out to me. Yes, there were some difficulties this past year, but what came from those difficulties was nothing but good. God at work in everything. He really is. I look back over 2017 and think about what I learned from difficult situations. I see things God wanted me to change and I’m trying. An attitude maybe, a comment made, a thought I caught myself thinking, oh and yes my biggest thing that I deal with, patience. It is a daily struggle, but I look back over this past year and see why God placed me in places mentally and physically where I didn’t want to be and I am thankful.
As you clean out 2017 and prepare for your future by placing everything in it’s little “bin”, think about replenishing your “spiritual bin”. If you are a Christian, think before you speak or post something on social media. I am just as guilty about this and many times I’ll post something and the Holy Spirit says, “Not so fast…think again.” Then I go back and hit delete. We are supposed to be a comforting and uplifting bunch. Negativity, anger, and sadness really aren’t a reflection of being Christ-like. Whether you are a Christian or not, at the end of 2018 do you really want to be posting once again how horrible the past year was and let’s get on with 2019? If you don’t make a change by bringing Christ into your life and allowing Him to be above it all, there is no moving on, I’ve been there and I know.
Life goes by like a flash. The next year, the next six weeks, the next six hours are not promised to us. Starting today and beginning this new year, decide to get into prep mode about your eternal future, the future that is more important than financial gain, or a weight loss plan. How do you get organized, get clean, and prepared for when you leave this temporary home behind? It’s real simple…..Jesus. Just Jesus.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Spring Training…. San Diego Padres Peoria, AZ