I don’t care what the calendar or the thermometer says: when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, it’s Spring. Go O’s!
Speaking of Spring, whenever the temperatures warm up and the grass starts growing again, but the trees haven’t yet sprouted leaves, I think about Jesus proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is at hand. On those early Spring days, it’s clear that Spring has arrived, but not fully. There are signs of its arrival, but the vestiges of winter are still visible: the trees are still bare and the flowers haven’t yet bloomed. That’s what Jesus meant: the Kingdom of God had arrived, but there are vestiges of the present age. The days of the present evil age are numbered, and the fullness of the Kingdom is assured, but for a time there is some of both. So we get to decide: do I still want to live in Winter, or am I ready to live the rebirth of Spring? And one more thing: every moment you spend worrying about whether you are going to be with God in the afterlife is one less moment you get to enjoy being with God in this life. Jesus didn’t say the Kingdom of God starts after you die, he said it is at hand. Live your life with God in this life, and he’ll take care of you in the next life. Too many Christians treat living for God as less important than making sure they’ve taken care of the afterlife part, but Jesus taught the opposite—it’s living for God now that leads to eternal life; or, more accurately, living for God now IS eternal life. It begins now, and death can’t stop it; and if it doesn’t begin now, death won’t start it.