Rhythms

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:  A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
 A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
 A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;  A time to love,
And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace                                                                                Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

We have certain rhythms in our life that are often so subtle, we simply take them for granted. However, when those rhythms get disrupted, we know it. We feel uneasy, like something just isn’t right. The routines by which we mark time in our life have been disrupted, and we are thrown off course, however slightly. It bugs us.

The COVID-19 pandemic has done just that. It has altered our rhythms. We have, for example, become accustomed to having a rhythm of starting school in late August (yes, it gets earlier every year), and ending the school year sometime in late May. We gear our calendar around that from about age 5 or 6 on, and we keep that more or less, the rest of our lives.

Sports also does that for us. Sports has been described as the “toy store” of life. It is the fun place, the place where we can expend emotional and physical energy, but the end result typically isn’t life or death. It is supposed to be a fun diversion- something that is optional, yet enjoyable, and takes on some level of meaning in our life. We invest ourselves in the outcome of games, look forward to certain milestones, All-Star games, drafts, even fantasy teams. It is supposed to be fun.

And this year, it’s not. At least for me. The excitement of the baseball season is- not exciting. The anticipation of college football? Not happening. High school football? Just ask the athletes, coaches and school administrators.  It is tense and tenuous. Yes, it will likely happen to some degree, but for how long, we do not know.

There is no blame in this. Professional sports commissioners, college administrators, and high school superintendents are asked to make impossible decisions, then they are blamed whichever direction they go. No, the blame is the virus, and we can’t get our hands around it to strangle it.

So, this is one of those seasons. This is the season of COVID-19, our uninvited guest. We recognize that this is a season in our lives, and it can serve a purpose if we allow it. We can redeem it into a learning time and as a time of unprecedented resilience. Our rhythms might change a bit, and we will accommodate to that. Our sports will return, maybe a bit different, and maybe that will be OK.

I am looking forward to next season.

Prayer: Father, give me the patience to see this season for what it is. Seasons come and seasons go, you remain the same, Amen.

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