“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven – A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, NASV).
Our lives unfold each day, new and unknown yet to be intertwined with unique moments, unexpected joys and challenges and endless social, business, personal and relational involvements and activities. Every event, whether seemingly insignificant or staggering in its importance will flow into a season of developing and evaporating time and be woven into the legacy of our having lived a life on this earth. Thus we have times and seasons for both planting and harvesting, building and tearing down, searching and finding, holding and letting go, finding and losing, effort and reward and joy and sadness. The seasons of our lives are many but they are also fleeting as we spend and appreciate the times for scattering and gathering, affection and loneliness and silence and speaking. Many seasons are followed by reflections, adaptations and changes through the events and moments being experienced at the time or having just pasted by into our memories.
So an intriguing and yet disconcerting question often lingers around our days of living … bouncing around our senses like the contrasting taste of bitter and sweet or the colors fading or brightening in beginning or ending of a day. The question floats about us as we feel fulfilment and satisfaction but taunts us a bit like a tiresome bully as we go through regrets and failed expectations. The unassuming and yet complex question is ancient yet relevant to each spontaneous moment and every intentional act and purposed direction. The question is and will always be … “Is our life, simply the time, made of all the moments and events; or is there a deeper meaning to our lives than simply the times of our living?
The writer of Ecclesiastes struggles alongside each one of us as he assesses life and its meaning. He identifies the ageless and unifying quandary of all human existence by proposing a staggering truth in his redacting assessment of the futility in our living out our days in the vapor-like eluding and passing of the seasons in our lives. “”Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, NIV).
Yet, in the frustrating hopelessness, there is something more. There in the midst of the death of seeing and sensing nothing of meaning, something is alive in the going beyond. Something is budding in the slight touch of green cracking open in new hope. Life is always present midst the dying. A bird sings in the new morning because there is always life beyond the time which has past. There is always new life in life.
It was in the dying of our Savior, that we were given life. The Gospel will always bring new life, restoration and redemption from all hopelessness. The meaning of life is in the continuance of the abundant life our Lord brings. His life comes to us in His abiding and His abiding continues into eternal life. Meaning in life is found in His ways and that meaning extends into a time beyond the times of our lives.
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NIV)
A re-post of earlier thoughts but we often need to reminded of these simple truths.