For some reason when the game clock runs out on the Super Bowl I always feel as though the calendar has run down as well. There’s a seasonal time shift when the game concludes. Everything that was autumn is past, New Year’s game are over … something’s done, completed. And we now start anew and have to shift gears.
But what? This is such an odd time of the year—February-March. The football season is over, the holidays are past. You got Valentine’s Day, and the Oscars and March Madness. Some people get excited about Spring Training. Basketball championships will not begin until early June. So what to do, what to do? The Super Bowl winds down and now all I feel like doing is to wrap myself up in comfortable blanket of ennui until … well, what?
The “what” I guess, is Ash Wednesday. This funny little religious observance actually does snap me to attention. It reminds me of my relationship with God. It reminds me that I have religious and humanitarian obligations that transcend Hallmark holidays or big stage athletic contests. I take the ashes and carry for a day a symbol of my mortality and the brevity of life, and quite suddenly—it’s surprising—it doesn’t matter so much who’s getting that Best Actor Oscar or who won the Super Bowl. Still interesting social tidbits to be sure, but … well, they’re just not really important, are they?
So, another nine days to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent and the journey to Resurrection Day on March 31. Life is picking up. Things to do, people to help, friends to make, friends to keep, children to love, and old people to cherish. Lots to do.
So cast off thy blanket, thou sluggard! San Francisco lost. Get over it. Time to move on to Things That Matter. There’s a kingdom to announce, there is good news to proclaim. And that’s why we have been placed in this alien land—time to get back to our mission.