The Reason I Prefer Syracuse (and Thoughts on New Life)

I love new stuff.  I always have. I love even the memory of new back to school clothes and the latest and greatest new grade school lunchbox (Scooby-Doo, anyone!?). Now I get a charge out of every new operating software update for my devices and every free update in the App Store.  More recently, I’ve discovered something I like even more than new products. I like the new seasons we get every three months. Even if you don’t like Syracuse and long for southern sun, you may still be willing to admit it’s okay to prefer something more than the hot sun and saltless winters of the Deep South.  I’m talking about the vibrant changing of the seasons.

Designed for New Life

When I was young, every new spring season meant the familiar smells of opening day of little league baseball season. Even now, it’s not hard for me to recall the smell of freshly oiled leather mitts and green-ish grass (or should I clarify—the smells of stubborn March slush and sloppy April mud).  I still get a thrill out of every new season. But now that I’ve aged a bit, I especially enjoy the Syracuse spring for better reasons and possess a growing fondness for spring’s more universal joys: the sun, flowers and even the birds (which I’ve gone public to describe as “gross”). Yet “spring” is not just a season, it’s also a period of regrowth, revival and renewal.

Don’t Miss the Purposeful Design

Our MIA sun emerges to generate the life-giving energy and warmth we need to recover from a long, dark winter. I appreciate more than ever that from a lifeless seed buried under the dirty ground a spring flower blooms with a stunning natural beauty and fragrance.  And, as much as I like to avoid thinking about birds with their creepy claws and beaks, I’m impressed with their life preservation instincts to migrate to the warmer southern winters for a spell before returning home when it’s safe. Whether it’s the sun, flowers or birds, they’re designed to regenerate or preserve life.

Faith Means a Fresh Change and New Life

As a person of faith, I can’t help but believe there’s a life-giving Designer who causes all this newness.  These fresh changes brought on by another spring season vividly demonstrate what’s possible for the human soul who is suffering in the gloominess of winter.  We Christians have long been known for and sometimes even mocked for a phrase: “born again.” We believe that for every person willing to bury their old life of empty self-reliance in the ground like a dying seed, it’s possible for the inner life to be “reborn.”  According to the Christian faith, by believing and receiving Jesus, by faith alone, a sun-like energy breaks through their own gloomy winter and regenerates them for a new life of joy and hope that blooms like a spring flower. For whosoever believes, there comes a soul-level, God-given inner energy (the Holy Spirit) that compels them by a brand new instinct to fly toward the life-giving warmth of their Creator.

Sick of Winter Yet?

I doubt many people share my appreciation for the childhood smells of little league leather and infield grass that spring brings.  Yet every human on Earth can likely appreciate the need to come alive after a long season of gloomy winter. Whether your winter is characterized by the dark clouds of disappointment, emptiness, loneliness, betrayal or even bitterness, may the spring sun always remind you of what’s possible when you decide that you’re ready for a new season.  By faith, our winter isn’t a lifelong season. We possess a beautiful hope for life-changing regeneration.

 

Additional Resources

Gospel Series videos about Jesus by The Bible Project

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller

What the Christian Faith teaches about being “Born Again” from Theopedia

Scripture verse about regeneration and renewal (Titus 3:3-7)

What is Spring?

 

 

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