(the key is knowing what time it is)
My dear friend lost her mum a couple of weeks ago. It was a sudden, heart-breaking loss.
I went to spend some time with her when she had returned from the funeral, and, she talked to me as she processed the huge life changing event that she had just been through. We sat together on her sofa, with a glass of wine, as she talked to me and walked me through what she had just experienced. There’s very little to say at these times, is there? It’s mainly about being there, listening, understanding. Allowing that person to do what they need to do whether that is to sob, or to sit in silence with you.
She showed me some of the funeral because it had been recorded, and we listened to some of the beautiful words that were spoken. And there was a part of the address that stood out to us both, based on some words that are found in the ancient book of Ecclesiastes:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
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 from embracing,
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.
These words, they are beautiful, comforting, but also provoking. Let’s pick a couple out.
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing
We have all been through a season like this over the past 18 months. A time where we have not been able to embrace, to hold those that we love. We have had to hold back, maintain social distancing, keep one another safe but holding back from an embrace. We are now, coming into a season where we can embrace, we can hold one another again. I wonder what context the ancient writer was considering when these words were first written down.
a time to plant and a time to uproot
What season are you in? Do you feel like you’re planting, or perhaps tending to something that you have planted, or are you in a time of uprooting? Is it time for you to pull out something that once was growing, a time to reap what you have sown, or even start over?
a time to search and a time to give up
Recently, I found myself in a situation where I gave up. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was, I think, on this occasion, the right one.
I gave up.
I’m going to leave it at that, with no justification or explanation, and hopefully, hearing that someone else, just gave up, might be releasing to you.
The thing is, how do we know? How do we know when to keep going, when to stop, when to say yes, when to say no? It’s just not that simple, but, the more we learn about ourselves, growing in our self-awareness, being present with ourselves, we can learn to make good decisions. It’s wisdom, isn’t it? Sometimes wisdom comes from listening to trusted others, too – that guide us, push us, comfort us and know us.
Have a read over those words to yourself today.
Which sentence stands out to you?
I hope you feel a sense of courage and conviction today as you make confident choices about what time it is for you.