Some sports intensify our awareness of time. Basketball, for instance: games are now measured not in seconds, but in tenths thereof. “Clock management” is a skill set in its own right.
Baseball – it’s a cliche, but still true – takes us toward timelessness. It’s played till one team has more runs that the other at the end of an inning. There’s no game clock. Games feel – pleasantly or unpleasantly, depending on your perspective – like they could go on forever.
With no set calendar to guide us, we struggle to figure out which season we’re in when it comes to life apart from sports. Wait, or act? Deliberate, or just decide? By the time Hamlet acts, forces within and without have spun beyond his control, and a bloodbath ensues. Macbeth, on the other hand, yanks the time out of joint in his haste to seize power.
College basketball season is drawing to a close, while professional baseball gears up for Opening Day. We know exactly when one season ends, and when the other begins. But in life, the tragedies of Hamlet and Macbeth alike loom in every season. Give us, Lord, “an inquiring and discerning heart” to read with clarity the signs of all the times of our lives.