Today in my daily bible reading, this passage flew across my radar:
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. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
Sure. I've read it before. I'm sure you have as well. But it had a resonant effect on me today. It just sounded different. Deeper. More personal. It felt much less like an old 60's song and more like God's word for me.
Then I read a section from a book I've been reading on Benedictine spirituality. The resonance clanged more loudly:
Elie Wiesel writes: "What God gave Adam was not forgiveness from sin; what God gave Adam was the chance to begin again." Life is made up of a series of opportunities to begin again... no one has a call simply to a particular place, as good as it may be. The call of God is the Will of God...
The question is always: is this group, this place calling out the best in me? Is this where I fit? Is this the place where I can most become what God created me to be?
It's not a matter of one place being better than another. It is a matter of finding our way through life with an eye for turns in the road. It is a matter of always taking the right turn when settling for less would be so much easier. It is a matter of seeing change as a creative possibility in life.
I took some massive steps of change in February 09. And I'll be honest -- that was such a dramatic shift, such a huge leap into the abyss of the unknown, that I'm realizing that I thought to myself, "There. I've done it. I've dealt with change..." as if I was checking it off the to-do list.
I rest in the truth of Hebrews 12:1-3 ~
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.