Summary: Extreme events get our attention, but they do not define our lives; Living between the extremes does.
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
a fellowship of faith family and friendships
June 1, 2003
1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 9What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? 10I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 12I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 13And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3.1-13 (KJV)
A person would have to be living on the moon to not hear the expression, there’s a time for everything.
One writer characterized the “seven seasons” of life this way:
Spills of Infancy – Everything goes to the floor as you play the game of “I drop; you pick up”.
Drills of childhood – Spelling drills, multiplication drills, bible drills - The lessons drilled into your head by your parents and teachers.
Thrills of the Teen Years - The feeling of immortality, roller coaster rides, dating, acne.
Bills of Adult living – Work, bills, Marriage, bills, buying a house bills; car, bills, raising children bills, bills and lots of bills.
Ills of the Hills - When the excitement of the mid life crisis lands you in the hospital.
The Pills of Over the Hill - One for arthritis; one for high blood pressure; one for this and two for that.
Wills of Old Age – I will get up, I will get up, No, I will not get up.- Uhmm, can I get some help to get up! ( Sheila Crowe in "Changing Seasons", Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, SermonCentral.com)
Everyone can identify with those ills, pills and wills. We laugh, but only because they are our common experience. There is as much frustration with being in one stage, knowing that the next is coming. In fact, we know that is the case, as verse 11 tells us [God]…hath set [eternity] in their heart.…
We are different from the plants, insects and animals in that we sense the existence of eternity, and the abstractness of God. Animals and plant life simply respond to the moment and its environs. If there is food they eat it and enjoy it; if there are competitors for the food, they fight for it. They exist and reproduce without regard to antiquity or posterity. They are the true existentialists, living in the moment.
Man is different; man asks the question, why? Man can focus on eternity and we want to know the meaning of life. We want to know why we are here. We search for that meaning, and when we cannot know it, we manufacture it.
Recent history provided the French revolution, and the accompanying philosophy of humanism which dominates America today. We scoff at French reluctance to enter the Iraq war with us, but we little realize how they are already possessors of our most precious American territory – our minds. Humanistic existentialism, which began in the Renaissance, is taught in our schools and by a predominance of media programming.
We still have our American slogan: “In God We Trust”. Unfortunately we only say it; our real trust is fully leaning on our ingenuity, imagination and technology. That’s where the real stuff of our living takes place.
The trouble with that is we don’t really know where that living will take us. We may call all the shots of our lives – live in charge, but for what? In the end, we have been born, lived fifty, seventy or a hundred years, and then, like a blip on the radar screen we disappear. To what end, says the philosopher? Why am I here? Am I just another piece of vegetation to populate planet earth?