I want to remember that earthly power is temporary. Lent Week 3, Day 16
Teacher: For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven:
2 A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, a time to collect the harvest;
3 A time to kill, a time to heal;
a time to tear down, a time to build up;
4 A time to cry, a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, a time to dance;
5 A time to scatter stones, a time to pile them up;
a time for a warm embrace, a time for keeping your distance;
6 A time to search, a time to give up as lost;
a time to keep, a time to throw out;
7 A time to tear apart, a time to bind together;
a time to be quiet, a time to speak up;
8 A time to love, a time to hate;
a time to go to war, a time to make peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, The Voice)
I like all four seasons. They each have their strengths weaknesses; their joys and challenges.
Spring is a time of new birth and renewed color. Greens become greener. Flowers bloom. Birds are chirping in the air. And spring is also a time of hay fever, mountain cedar, and other allergies. A time when thunderstorms and hail storms wreak havoc. Amidst all the beauty of spring, there is often a lot of work to do when that season arrives.
Summer is fun because it is hot and sunny. People hit the road for vacations. Summer camps, pools, and waterfronts are flooded with people enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Summer also brings heat stroke and exhaustion. It is also the beginning of hurricane season. Some of the most destructive storms have made landfall during the summer time. Even though there is joy, there is often a lot work to do when that season arrives.
Autumn is a time when colors change and temperatures drop and the final harvest arrives. Campfires and apple cider and hot cocoa begin to make more appearances. Halloween and Thanksgiving fill our thoughts and plans. But it is a time to start putting things away. Clothes we have enjoyed the previous two seasons are boxed up. The instruments we use to plant are put away while we await the current year’s work die. And pumpkin everything pops us. Although it is a time of comfort, there is often a lot of work to do when that season arrives.
Winter is actually my favorite. I grew up loving snow and ice. I love the freezing temperatures. I love the peaceful feeling that comes at looking over a field of untouched snow. Sledding and gloves and ski masks and snowmen abound. It is so much fun. But it also creates a hassle for people who do not move around as well as I do. Ice can be treacherous to walk or drive on. That beautiful snow turns into muddy slush. Many people are boarded up inside their homes—lonely because they cannot get out safely. Driveways need to be shoveled. Broken pipes need to be repaired. In the middle of all that fun, there is often a lot of work to do when that season arrives.
For everything there is a season. For everything there is a time. We do not get to escape the bad just because we love the good so much.
The blessing is that a time is coming when all good things will arrive. The curse is that a time is coming when we must endure and persevere through all the challenge.
Many people believe we are currently in a season of despair. Actually, I believe that. Let me not try to speak for many people.
We live in a system that is actively trying to take the rights and protections of many people away. We live in a system that rewards lack of knowledge and abundance of volume. We live in a system that wants to shut doors and build walls instead of shake hands and invite dialogue. We live in a system that is actively operating in opposition to the document that has guided this country for two centuries.
And I am frustrated. I am angry. I am ready to give up.
But everything has a season. And in each season, there is often a lot of work to do.
22 So I realized there is nothing better for us than to find joy in the work we do, for work is its own reward. For who will bring us back to see what will be after we are gone? (Ecclesiastes 3:22, The Voice)
What work am I going to do today? What work are you going to do today?