1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
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 profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? 10 I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.
Examine / Explain
The writer is telling us that we live in a box called time. There are seasons and points in our lives that should and should not happen during our lifetime. The appointments in this dash we call life. Some are beyond our control, so we have complete control. We are but men living in a race where there is nothing the human mind won’t try to accomplish. And there are times we shouldn’t.
How do I apply this to my life?
I have a birth date, and I will have a death date. And in the middle is this little dash. It encompasses from my conception until my last breath of air. I have a limited time on earth. What am I going to do with it? Have I wasted most of it? Have I squandered it? Have I tried to kill when I should have been trying to heal? Have I been making war when I should have been trying to make peace? Not to get overly complicated, but there are fourteen comparisons here, which I see as seven times two. A perfection divided. We are imperfect and tend to lean toward not wanting to deal with the sorrowful areas in our lives. We want to eat, drink, and be merry. We want to laugh, birth new things, and embrace what makes us comfortable. This lifetime takes more than just being happy. There is a sacrifice that must be made. Sometimes, we must build others up, especially when disagreeing. We must step to the end of ourselves and live a life in the light of Jesus. When we live that life, maybe we live with perfection multiplied instead of divided. Maybe we quit trying to see how much we can keep and start trying to see how much we can give away. Maybe we start seeing every human on the planet as an image bearing of the creator of the universe. Each one is as unique as fingerprints, yet all the same. We love sin more than obedience to God. What time do I need to adjust? Where am I putting my time in the wrong place? Where am I building my kingdom instead of His?
What is my response?
Father, again, I say I lose focus. I think about the Israelites coming out of Egypt and losing focus right after such a miracle as the Red Sea. But how is that any different than me losing focus after my salvation? You created us with a propensity to worship and follow. With the slightest distraction, our worship turns to idols. Time can be an idol, too. We can think we have all the time in the world and we can spend it how we want. Or we can believe there is never enough, and I have to get in all the fun things I want to do before I die. Lord, where do I fall? Where am I squandering appointed times? Where am I dividing my time from you when I should be spending for you? Where in time should I be right now? Leading? Following? Waiting? Pursuing? Loving? Hating? I ask for clarity. I ask that I take the step of the path You lay before me. I need You with me no matter the time or place I am coming from or going to. I need You! Amen