This morning, I woke up with my alarm and then turned it off. Like normal, I slumped back onto the bed and under the covers. Oh pillow, I don’t want to leave you! Waking up nearly 45 minutes later, I realized that I hadn’t left my pillow, I had fallen back asleep. Scrambling to get dressed, do my hair and make-up, I grabbed a banana and stuffed it in my purse.
Life falls into routines, times to get up and times to go to sleep. My body gets used to a certain cycle of time for rest, activity, work, family and when these are mixed up it can be rather disconcerting for the rest of the day.
There are cycles in life as well, and as we move from one to another they can be disconcerting for us then as well. The words of Ecclesiastes 1 are familiar to many, especially from the song Turn Turn Turn by the Byrds.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.”
I would imagine that you, like me, can think of times that have been for each one of these. I think of birth and dying moments, being uprooted during moves, and planted into new homes. I think of times when I have needed to tear down walls and other times when I needed to have the protection of a high hedge. Weeping and mourning, laughter and dancing, those have also been experienced. Sometimes though, it has been laughing with weeping and mourning with dancing. Stones of judgment have needed scattered, stones of remembrance have needed gathered. Embracing new adventures, new tasks and challenges can be wonderful but at other times I have needed to pull back and regroup. Throwing away is a good thing in spring cleaning, rather for the house or for my life. But, the empty areas are refilled with God’s presence. To tear, to mend, to be silent and to speak, I think in my case though it might also be to sing. Though, there was a time last year that I was yelling at the trees in the backyard, well not so much at them as in there general direction. A time to be silent, to listen and a time to speak, to pray and petition, to confess and praise. A time to love and a time to hate, hating sin, hating what God hates. A time for war and a time for peace, to wage against our inadequacies and our ignorance, our prejudices and judgments.
Yes, those transitions can be quite disconcerting, like waking up late or being jolted suddenly in life.