Monday, March 30, 2015

The Season Begins

As I sat at the first little league game of the season, I found myself amazed that a whole year had passed, that somehow, we had gone through a whole summer, and half a school year, and a winter full of snow, only to find ourselves back where we were a year ago. Sure, things have changed--a different uniform, bigger cleats, longer legs for a quicker walk to the field. But in the end, we are right back where we were, a whole year ago.

There are times when I wish all of life could be like that, full of familiar outings and expected outcomes, where the colors and sizes may change, but the events remain basically the same. Where the stakes change, but gradually, so that you can keep up if you just keep practicing. Where the return on your investment continues uninterrupted, as long as you keep investing. Where you are valued, both because people knew you before and because they see you now.

Sadly, life isn't always like little league. A time of year doesn't necessarily mean a particular outcome, and practice isn't always enough. You can put on your "uniform" each day, but that won't guarantee your being able to play, much less your winning the day's game. The best we can do, I suppose, is to keep getting out on the field, no matter what the season, to keep practicing, whether we have a coach saying to or not.

As my son and I walked home, his team on the losing end of Game 1, we talked about what might be different next time. And I thought about all the things that are different since last year. The season may have begun, but in life, the game is played, differently each day, all year long.

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