Yesterday I walked the first hole at my favorite golf course, Portsmouth Country Club. While other golf courses I’ve played in the area (Green Meadow, Sagamore-Hampton, and Pease, to name just a few) are already open and accepting their first foursomes of the year, on a warm and sunny afternoon Portsmouth was still locked up in its winter setting, the course as barren as if it were January, the practice green (and all greens, for that matter) covered in plastic, the grass all gnarly and winter-kill brown. While others would have given it the quickest of glances and walked away, I couldn’t help but stand on the first tee and imagine myself looking out over a sun-drenched, green vista on a warm spring or summer afternoon, the trees full and green, birds chirping, the happy colors of the planted flowers, the sounds of golfers chatting around the putting green and drivers being launched off the first tee.
The sun being warm and I being the only human being around as far as I could see, I walked the first hole down towards the woods that bound the property, Great Bay shimmering in the afternoon sun past the second hole to my far right. Having played this hole many a time, I found myself juxtaposed between past (where I’ve played various shots in the past) and the present. In the earliest of Spring afternoons I could hear the sound of the young peepers – the young tree frogs – awakening to their new life. I could see along the fairway trees starting to bud and the sprouts of daffadils and jonquils bravely emerging from the chilly soil. And it occurred to me that, in this one small corner of the world, there is resurrection taking place before my very eyes – the seeming death of winter being replaced by the annual renewal that Spring brings.
We all spend far too much time dwelling in the present and all the bullshit that goes with our day-to-day lives. Were we to step back and take a look at the bigger picture, at the annual dance of death and new life that goes on all around us each and every day, we’d understand the powerful force of resurrection as part of God’s plan, not just for us, not just at Easter, but for the whole world on a daily basis. In God’s eye, nothing goes to waste, nothing is lost forever – we, through the death of Christ Jesus, are part of a greater plan beyond which any of us can (or should) comprehend.
Live your life as God has called you to do each and every day. Appreciate everything and every gift of God’s creation for what it is, recognizing that you’re no more special than anything else around you, for we are all part of God’s creation and God’s plan for creation. Resurrection is not some old dusty tale from two thousand years ago, it is happening all around us if we only have the eyes to see. And we shall all be a part of it someday.
…and my presonal favorite:
Come ye faithful, raise the strain. The lyrics to this hymn have always touched me in ways that make me want to cry whenever I hear them sung:
Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought forth Israel into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot through the Red Sea waters.
’Tis the spring of souls today; Christ has burst His prison,
And from three days’ sleep in death as a sun hath risen;
All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
From His light, to Whom we give laud and praise undying.
Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus’ resurrection.
Neither might the gates of death, nor the tomb’s dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal hold Thee as a mortal;
But today amidst the twelve Thou didst stand, bestowing
That Thy peace which evermore passeth human knowing.
Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!