Our Long, Dark Night Is Over

Yes! The month of March is back! We have climbed out of the abyss.
Our long, dark night is over.



There is no doubting that March is the best month of the year. Yesterday was the first official day of March. It was a Sunday. Car after car pulled into the parking lot. I was standing out in the parking lot waving at each arriving person—yes, I am the official waver. If I wasn’t already pumped to be worshiping Living God on the first day of the best month of the year, I was after seeing everyone arriving, ready to sing, pray and dig into God’s word. I kept thinking, “Something’s up.” And then it dawned on me. It’s March.

There are lots of reasons to back up the fact that March is the best month of the year. For one thing, baseball spring training is underway. I never got any closer to spring training than being a nine-year-old kid standing in my driveway hitting rocks over a creek with my official Louisville slugger, each swing delivering a Travis Ishikawa walk-off pennant-winning home run. I love spring training. The vibe in the air is unmistakable. Everyone’s dreaming of being that guy, standing in that moment, getting that hit. It’s infectious.

Because spring training is here, I won’t have to go trolling for interesting sports information like I did before it was March. But…speaking of trolling, know what I found? Cricket. Not the insects, the game. As in wicketkeepers, opening batsmen, middle-order batsmen, all-rounders, pace bowlers and spin bowlers. Do you know the Cricket World Cup is underway right now? Fans from around the world got to vote for the all-time cricket all star team. Did you know Chris Gayle, of the West Indies, was voted as to the all-time all star team as an opening batsman? Some fans went so far as to say, “Mr. Gayle is the best ever.” The Michael Jordan of the cricket pitch! This was when cricket aficionadas – think ESPN talking heads – stepped in and said, “Not so fast. If you think Mr. Gayle is the best ever, you don’t know cricket.” I have to side with the aficionadas. I mean, I don’t have a Chris Gayle cricket card. How great can he be, really?

But I got curious. What had poor Mr. Gayle done to get practically hooted off the cricket pitch by the real cricket experts? Apparently, he was in “the middle of a poor trot.” I am so out of my league. The images and the back-and-forth argument left my poor head spinning—which is, I guess, another cricket thing. I’m so glad spring trainig is here!

Speaking of March, did I mention March Madness? Did I tell you that it’s the epic, once-a-year college basketball tournament that dreams are made of? I love this tourney. In fact, one of my family members—I won’t say which one for obvious reasons—is taking a day off from work – insert cough here – and we’re watching as many games together that day as possible. It’s going to be a great day: awesome food, upsets, tourney brackets, trashing talking about someone’s “poor trot” up and down the court.

One of the reasons I’m so bullish on March is it’s feeling a bit like God reached down and flipped the “on” switch in our church. There’s something catching going on around the Upper Room. It’s infectious. The vibe is fantastic! The quality of the Sunday experience has skyrocketed. We’ve simplified our “ask” and now more than 100 adults are in classes or groups outside of Sunday morning. We’re exploring new missional partnerships.

I could go on with some more about March. It’s enough, though, to say, “Thank you; our long, dark night is over!”

(Know what the second best month of the year is? Easy: February—only 28 days before March arrives!)