Summary: The third sermon of a 4 part series, ‘Overload: Saying ‘No’ So We Can Say ‘Yes.’

Title – What Season Is It?

Scripture Passage – Ecclesiastes 3:1-12

Description – The third sermon of a 4 part series, ‘Overload: Saying ‘No’ So We Can Say ‘Yes.’

This morning we begin with the reading of our main text and following the reading of it, we will watch a video clip. As you watch the clip, answer this question, (Slide 1) ‘What season of life is it for this mom and this family?

(Slide 2)

There is a time for everything,

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 harvest.

A time to kill and a time to heal.

A time to tear down and a time to rebuild.

(Slide 3)

A time to cry and a time to laugh.

A time to grieve and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.

A time to embrace and a time to turn away.

A time to search and a time to lose.

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

(Slide 4)

A time to tear and a time to mend.

A time to be quiet and a time to speak up.

A time to love and a time to hate.

A time for war and a time for peace.

(Slide 5)

What do people really get for all their hard work? I have thought about this in connection with the various kinds of work God has given people to do.

(Slide 6)

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they can.

(Slide 7)

‘Bluefish TV Drained_from_Busy_Schedules’

(Slide 8) So, what season of life is it for this mom and her family?

We are at different points in the season of our life. Overload looks different to us that it does to Patty the mom. Some of us have ‘been there and done that.’ Others of us cannot relate, never have and never will, to the busyness of Patty.

Some of us have little overload to be honest. Others of us have a lightly loaded plate of overload. Still others of us have a full plate and perhaps a few of us have an overflowing plate of overload.

As we begin the third sermon in our fall series, ‘Overload: Saying ‘No’ So We Can Say ‘Yes,’ I want us to consider what season of life we are in this morning because each season of life has the ever present issue of overload in it. There are types of overload, such as financial and relational, common to every season of life but there is also overload germane to a particular season. Some seasons are busier than other seasons. But, all seasons of life present challenges to margin and spiritual health.

Those of us who are able to relate to Patty the mom know that overload of our schedules, and our families’ schedules, is something to work on in this particular season of life. For others of us who have gone through this season, perhaps the aging of our parents or other family members or the beginning of retirement, creates conditions for certain kinds of overload that we must deal with that is different from other seasons.

We face overload throughout life and sometimes, (and some of us are probably in this situation) we experience overload on several different levels because our lives are touching the lives of others who are at different seasons as well! Maybe we often feel overwhelmed rather than overloaded but lack of margin, that space between sanity and overload, is always present.

What does scripture have to say to us about all of this? Let’s look at our main text this morning out of the book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes is a very deep and fascinating book. Some Bible scholars suggest that Solomon wrote it after a period of walking away from God. Others suggest that Ezra, who helped Israel rebuild the temple after the return from Babylonia, wrote it. We really are not clear, as to whom the author is but we are clear that his view of life is rather negative and even depressed.

It seems that in spite of all of the things he has done, none of it has been satisfying and it all comes down to simply honoring or fearing God and enjoying life on a day to day level. Now this might appeal to us today given all of the trinkets, gadgets, events, and opportunities we have available to us that can cause overload. But, if we have had moments when we have been overloaded with things and events and excitement, then perhaps the author’s simple challenge to honor God and be happy with what we have been given, is boring.

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