Winter Words Vol. 1 / Lent, Football, etc.

Winter continues to firmly grip north Georgia. Last week was tough with low temperatures and strong winds. This week we won’t get any higher than 45 and lows will be in the 20’s for the most part. I didn’t even get to walk at ALL last week for I’m not as determined as the days continue to roll by like movie credits at a pace too swift to follow. Like it or not, I’m getting old and I feel it in my bones, joints and muscles.

Lent began with Ash Wednesday last week. I love Lent. This is only my second year of participation in following the liturgical calendar and I find it inspiring and educational. Growing up Southern Baptist, we had absolutely no idea what any of this was, and, quite frankly, we were a little suspicious of such matters. Catholics observed these traditions and we were also a bit suspicious of them. Heck, even Methodists made us a somewhat nervous. Sprinkling babies? Hmmmm…

Even in this day and time not everybody is overly familiar with Lent and such. I went to get a soup and salad at a wonderful little spot in downtown Cartersville, GA last Wednesday, after being “crossed” at the local Starbucks by the associate pastor of the Presbyterian church in that county seat of Bartow. I was asked, by the owner, if I had been working on cars. If you know me at all then you understand that such a notion is preposterous. Then I remembered the ashes that had been smeared on my forehead by the gracious Calvinist. We all laughed, there was also a Methodist present behind the counter, as the significance of the day after Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, occurred to the three of us simultaneously.

Football Spring Practice, yes I’m capitalizing the first letter of all three words because it’s quite important to we SEC fans, will begin in Auburn on March 10th. This is another day we highly anticipate. It’s been oft stated that there are three distinct seasons in the Deep South…Football Season, Recruiting and Spring Practice. National Signing Day was the culmination of Recruiting on February 4th. NSD was covered, all day, on ESPNU and pored over, ad nauseum, for weeks prior to that hallowed day.

According to, the SEC had five teams in the top ten recruiting classes in the country, and ten teams in the top 25. There you go!!!

After the SEC West took such a whupping in bowl games, many “experts” were declaring the SEC was on its way down. No sir! That ain’t happening! The Big 10, PAC 12, Big 12 and ACC might be catching up, to a degree, but the SEC remains as strong as ever. You can bank that!

And guess what? The end of Lent will be on Maundy Thursday, April 2nd. This week also marks the beginning of Major League Baseball season!

The wheel keeps turning and the cycle of life continues.

The temperature is now 43 degrees and it “feels like” 37. It appears that I will probably miss my walk, yet again. I am feeling it in my old bones and these weary muscles are aching a bit. And Lent reminds us that “it is from dust that we have come and it is to dust that we will return”. But that’s okay. Life is good. It won’t be long before we, once again, hear the thud of leather and the crack of the bat.

Life, death and resurrection. I am in the middle of my 63rd round. In some ways I can truly feel it, but in other ways I feel like a fresh-scrubbed, bright-eyed kid.

“Put me in coach! I’m ready to play…”




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