Monday, July 23, 2018
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
Over the next few posts, I want to dive and dwell in these familiar word of the wisdom writer. It is good to note that Ecclesiastes 1 starts off by talking about how all life is "vanity of vanities". Or another way to translate this is all life is mist. On the one hand, you might think, "Thanks Pastor Eeyore of that bit of uplifting news this morning. Good Lord, there are better headlines on my Google news feed." But, what the wisdom writer is saying is that life is fleeting and fading. I know, that maybe didn't help you feel better, but stay with me. Things come and go. We know this in the news cycle. One day there is a story that is the, "Worst news ever." One week later, we have moved on to some other event and suddenly the past is just that. Or a more mundane example, try to remember what you had for lunch two weeks ago today. Okay, I am sure some of you actually could do that...which is very impressive.
But I can't.
Things do ebb and flow. Things come and go. Our lives are like an ever flowing stream. To say that life is like a mist really means we cannot cling to or control. Go ahead, get a spray bottle, fill it with water, spray it, and try to catch the mist. I will wait.
You might think you grasp some of it...but when you open your hand, it evaporates quickly.
Life, the wisdom writer says, is like that mist. What is important today fades away with time. To be sure there are some heartbreaks and aches from which we never recover. A loved ones and leaves our lives shattered like glass with sharp edges. Or, on the more positive side, I recently married a couple who met while one was studying aboard overseas. One decision to go here for school and suddenly life's course changes. Our choices matter and do make a difference. But to claim we are in charge and control, the wisdom writer wants to counter that with another reminder. For me, it isn't either/or rather both/and. The choices I make today will leave ripples on the water of my life. But, tomorrow is also a new day. It is both. For me, this is good to keep in mind, especially today in our common life. It is my prayer by exploring these words they might offer us life and shine a light with more a trace of God's grace.