A Time to…

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose;a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7a time to tear, and a time to sew;a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate;a time for war, and a time for peace.

 

This has always been one of my favorite passages.  I remember my father using it to explain appropriateness.  I imagine the part about a time to keep silence inspired his lesson that day.  I had a particular talent for the “time to speak” part… I just seemed to imagine that all of life was a time to speak.  All through my life I’ve used this to remind me of things specific to my circumstances.  As a student in school, I would remind myself that there was, “A time to study and a time to read” or “a time for Literature and a time for Science.”  Yesterday after scrubbing the shower for some time, my arms worn out with the effort of scrubbing  the fiberglass enclosure free of the build up of soap, rust, and grime, I chided myself about not having spent the “time” to maintain the cleanliness of it.  This passage came to mind and I wondered about the “Time Tos” of my life.

For everything in my home and life there is a season, and a time for every matter under my roof.

  • a time to arise and a time to sleep
  • a time to teach and a time to learn
  • a time to procure groceries and a time to prepare them
  • a time to clean and a time to educate
  • a time to rebuke and a time to encourage
  • a time to write and a time to read
  • a time to work hard and a time to relax
  • a time to declutter and a time to acquire
  • a time to enjoy hobbies and a time to put them away
  • a time to pray and a time to sing
  • a time to wash and a time to fold
  • a time to advise and a time to listen without speaking
  • a time to be home and a time to get away
  • a time for chaos and a time for peace

 

It’s nothing so profound, but when I do this, I remember that every good thing, whether work, play, fun or miserable, has an appointed time and there is nothing virtuous in spending all my time killing myself with work any more than there is something sinful in enjoying things that enrich my life and bring me joy.  God has given me all the time I need to do what He wants me to do.  I simply need to ensure that I do those things.