There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I've had a good look at what God has given us to do - busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time - but he's left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he's coming or going. I've decided that there's nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That's it - eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It's God's gift. I've also concluded that whatever God does, that's the way it's going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God's done it and that's it. That's so we'll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-14, The Old Testament, The Message
I don't usually like sitting through a sermon with a new or different preacher. I like my preacher, thankyouverymuch. There are several stand-ins at our church that I have trouble listening to. The stand-in yesterday, though, was spot on. I'm stealing part of what he said. Paraphrased, mind you. With me added in.
It's a new year. Time for change, we always hope. This was a good year, but it could always be better, right? And for a lot of you, this last was a bad year. Change is something you anticipate with bated breath.
Personally, I hate change. Most change.
Here's a question the preacher asked: What was your biggest change this year?
I'm still chewing on the answer. It might be the loss of internet connection for awhile. Wouldn't that be sad. I can't think of another big change. I liked the last year. My grandma died, which was huge for all of us, but that was the end of 2009. Hmm.
Regardless, change is inevitable. Pastor said that every change is death. The old status quo is dead. We mourn what's dead or lost. Do we? Do we always mourn what we lose in change?
Every change is also rebirth. We celebrate change or birth.
Oo! Calum! Not really my change, but my sister had her first child this year. Holding him for a week, cuddling, baby-talking, loving my teeny nephew, all brought home that I ADORE babies. And that I'll be content to enjoy my sister's. And wait for grandchildren.
I think I'd been mourning the loss of babies for awhile (we'd discussed adoption off and on, but I was pretty much done). I was able to celebrate the new birth with my sister. And now I can celebrate my own change of life, my own step away from babies and small children and into another phase of life.
Celebrating - do we celebrate all changes? Seriously - celebrating the onset of menopause? The insanity, forgetfulness, weariness. I can celebrate the beginning of a new stage of life, though. I can celebrate stepping into being someone other than I've been, because that's how I feel, like someone else.
Chris Colvin, you did a nice job. Made me think. Made me a little sad. Especially thinking about how futile things sometimes seem. But I'm looking forward, now, to 2011. Thank you. Looking forward to reading through the New Testament this next month and a half with the church. Looking forward to being active, not passive. Looking forward to seeing Calum in the spring. Looking forward to that most of all, I think.
Until I write again ...