A Time for Everything

Reading Ecclesiastes 3 when you’re having a rough time leads to unusual thoughts. If there’s a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, does that mean I’m in that time to refrain? If there’s a time to seek and a time to lose, does that mean it’s God’s will that I lose (and what exactly am I losing?). I kind of get it, though. Solomon is looking wisely at life and seeing that many stages happen, just in one life. We change, we go with the times, we act differently in different situations.

In a way, that’s a comfort. It’s normal to change. It’s normal to have stages of pleasure and pain. God is a constant, but this life is not.

I returned my very helpful marriage book to the library, and already, only two days later, I’m missing it. I’m backsliding into blaming myself for things. You’d think I wouldn’t be so attached to the physical words printed on physical paper, but apparently I am. It’s as if a wise, supportive friend just left me. What would Solomon say? There is a time for reading, and a time for thinking alone. Or maybe like this: There is a time for books, and a time for (hmm… emptiness, thoughts, independent thinking, blogs?) Okay, I’ve got it: There’s a time for leaning on others, and a time for standing alone.

Except my standing alone is more like falling down. Oh well. I’ll get there, I hope.

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Ecclesiastes

After studying the book of Ecclesiastes, I spent a day shrugging my shoulders and sighing, “It’s all meaningless.” But really I did learn something about this strange book of the Bible. I learned that the Preacher (who may or may not be Solomon) was sometimes right and sometimes wrong, a realistic human being in a fallen world. I learned how difficult and confusing it must have been to live in Old Testament times, when God’s people lived without the benefit of the New Testament and the life of Christ. I even came up with an art analogy about the book of Ecclesiastes: in a picture of a Christian’s life, where Christ and the gospel message are the central figure, Ecclesiastes is the negative space. Perhaps that is why we hardly know how to study this book. It requires a different mind-set, seeing God’s Word from a strange perspective.