To Everything There is a Season

The writer of Ecclesiastes has to be one of the most disillusioned, jaded authors of Scripture. His soliloquy carries indictments against both wisdom and foolishness. His conclusion, oft repeated is simply, “Everything is meaningless.” He seems caught in the sea of ennui, tossed about by the waves of calculated indifference. He wants to care, he has cared, and yet caring has left him feeling empty and even ripped off. So he concludes “Why bother, everything is meaningless anyways.”

But although this announcement seems to characterize a large part of the book, he obviously continues searching for a more satisfying conclusion, one that will give meaning, because after all doesn’t everyone long to know that our life has  purpose and meaning? As he vacillates from indifference, to hopefulness, he hits on what I think are the key issues of meaning.

Ecclesiastes 3 is a beautiful poem, one that has been repeated so many times and in sundry venues, that it may seem to carry a bit of the meaninglessness this book is characterized by. But in reality its meaning is intense, essential, and key in the whole issue of life’s meaning. “To everything there is a season, a time for everything under the sun.” Timing, God’s timing is key to embracing meaning.

When there is no rhythm between my plan and God’s perfect will, everything seems meaningless, pointless, and even a little bit like one big joke enacted upon me by Cosmic Forces. But as I learn the cadence of God’s precious timing, and I allow Him to hold me in sway, I find suddenly that whether life makes sense to me or not, it has meaning!

The author concludes with this beautiful exhortation:”Fear God, and obey His commands, for this is man’s all.”  I consider this along with the idea that life’s purpose is related to timing. And I find, that as I trust God’s timing, obeying Him with reverence and fear even when I can’t make sense of anything, He does.

To everything there is a season, and God is in perfect control of those seasons, just as He controls the changing weather from spring to summer to fall and winter. Meaning is found in believing Him in the middle of all those changes. This is the challenge I face as our family considers the huge changes ahead for us–believing and obeying God, trusting His timing.

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