From the Evangelist dressing table/desk
Excuse me have you got the time please??
I thought long and hard about what to write this month, I was having one of those blocks again, seeming to run out of time. Then I thought about the wonderful experience I am still enjoying following St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Journey.
During my times of meditation I mentioned to my Guide that I loved the passage set within Ecclesiastes 3: 1-14, which is quite fitting to the theme of time.
Now my challenge to you all is to read Ecclesiastes shown below and then reflect on where you are in the passage.
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What does the worker gain from his toil?
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.
14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
Verse 1 is the introduction, there are seasons of the world, maybe not so pronounced as Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn in this country now, to me they do appear to merge into one mostly wet aspiration.
There are also season of our lives. Reflect on where you are in your season at the moment? I am enjoying my Spring at my stage. Looking forward to God leading me in the changes that may take place in my life.
Verse 2, part one, are the two most certain things in ones life. First and foremost you are born according to Gods will. And secondly I bet you can’t get the Bookies to confirm a bet that you will die. They may bet on the ‘what’ age you may reach prior to your death, but the bookies will not place a bet on the certain fact that you will die. (If you do find one please let me know and I will go and place a bet myself).
Part two of verse 2, I think of me being an Evangelist and understanding when God is calling me to plant a seed in another and when maybe He is also calling me to challenge, (Uproot) something to make way for the new.
Moving on, Tracey (my proof, its okay to send that out, reader), has said that I am being morbid with regard to the above. Well that can be a discussion for another day.
Here’s a thought that I have with regards to the verses, excluding verse 1 and first section of verse 2.
We are all called to witness to others about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (A time to Plant). But we may need to look at what we do and will willing to change so that others feel safe and secure with our fellowship, (A time to uproot).
We stand firm for justice and do not judge others. We stand up for what is right. (My best effort for a time to kill), and we offer safety, prayer and any other support someone may need. (A time to heal).
We are sad and mournful when someone moves away from our Christian family, but laugh and offer thanks when we receive new into the fold, or the wonderer returns.
We run and dance with joy that our witness to Christ’s family is reaping the rewards of our hard work planting. (Complete verse 4).
And so the story goes on. But in short I believe that the passage is telling us that if we trust totally in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, we will know what time we have been placed in and will trust with sincere hearts that the Lord will lead us through the time gate.
Eternity set in my heart; again this could lead to a very lengthy discussion. But can we all agree that we do have a feeling towards eternity set within us all? I for one certainly do, I feel confident that there is still more to come after we have finished with these earthly bodies.
Verses 12 And 13 I would suggest is showing us that we can party and make merry at the end of our time of toil. I also think that it points to other areas of giving as well, so that all can eat and drink. What about you what do you think reading these verses?
I will sign off now, because I don’t want to be accused of taking too much space within the magazine. But just one closing thought. When you next read your Bible, stop for a moment and question what is the reading saying to you? Then visit the same passage a few days later and see what it is saying to you then.
Lastly I am tempted to use verses 2 to 8 as a basis for an agenda at the next meeting I attend, this does not mean church meeting specifically, so you don’t need to worry, but any meeting. Could have an interesting open debate.
Yours in Christ Jesus.
© Rick Hayes, November 2009