(Today’s reflection comes from an Easter Lutheran member who wishes to remain anonymous.)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
–Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NRSV)
This bible passage is often used at weddings and funerals. I’ve always felt they were poetry. Yet, while they sound beautiful, they were hard for me to understand. I know there’s a time to mourn and a time to laugh but what was the point? Verse 1 says there’s a time for everything but the verses continue to illustrate points which are 180 degrees apart; diametrically opposed. Is the Bible saying that “Times for Everything” are just the very high and very low? Until recently I simply let the poetry flow, appreciating the love conveyed yet not really understanding.
Then, a few weeks ago a BRAINSTORM hit me during a sermon – yes, there’s space between weep and laugh; tear down and build; silence and speech. But who shows up there?? Our loving God is there! Not just in our highs and lows, ALL the time! There IS a time for everything–He is waiting for us in every space of our lives, waiting for a deeper relationship. It’s during that time we cultivate our relationship with God.
To work on that cultivation I am pondering over some notes I took during a recent sermon on prayer—will you join me?
- Draws us into deeper relationship; it is intensely relational.
- Is a time to cultivate the relationship.
- Is a time for speaking the truth, being honest. (We might be afraid we aren’t getting the prayer “right” or “using the right words,” but what really matters is about having an honest relationship with God.)
- Gives permission for God to work in our lives.
All this makes me think of that NIKE slogan, “Just do it!” When it comes to prayer, I’m leaning toward “Just cultivate it!”
May you be blessed while cultivating your relationship with God!