Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Ecclesiastes take five
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
1. a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
2. a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
3. a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
4. a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
5. a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
6. a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
7. a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
The wisdom writer certainly starts off big, with major moments. Birth/life ~ taking life/sustaining life. I find the third couplet the opportunity to dig deeper. We cry and we laugh. We grieve and we dance. And again, sometimes not only separately, but simultaneously. I think of celebrations of life I lead where there is both laughter and tears...where there are moments my soul is heavy and other times light as a feather.
As we move deeper into where the wisdom writer is inviting us...we realize that in chronos since we separate time...in a kairos time there is an expansive embrace that everything can belong. I think about it this way ~ when my kids were born there was new life...there was an un-containable joy...there was the peacefulness of holding a baby. And...and there were things that ceased to be ~ which is to say those things died. On a basic level, a good night's sleep went out the window... and I wonder perhaps never to return. No longer could my wife and I just drop everything and go out to dinner. We had to get a babysitter. No longer could we just think ourselves...the same could be said of weddings...we go from being a one to a two. It is no longer just about "Me, Myself, and I"....or at least not if the marriage is going to last long.
Or I think about how sometimes I break something down to build it up. I deconstruct to get down to the raw building blocks and start over again. The cliche is always that as one door closes, another opens. While that is not always true, the door closing can still cause us to turn another direction and see another way we were not looking when focusing on the door! It is a both/and moment.
Which brings us back to crying/laughing...grieving/dancing. In the most honest sense to grieve is a sacred dance. To cry/laugh is a cathartic release out of the soul. We need both and I believe there is more than a trace of God's grace in both.
I invite you to reflect back on the both/and moments of life. With every new job/house/relationship something begins while another ends. As someone once said, "Every yes...holds a thousand nos". I hold onto this truth. I celebrate the yes...and know that in the kairos of time the no was a holy decision too. I pray such reflection helps you in the midst of such a time as this.