Rhythm of Life
It is hard to believe that it is the middle of August already. It seems like just yesterday we were longing for the freedom of summer and the excitement the season brings. Children who just a few short weeks ago were counting down to the last day of school are now marking the days before the new school year begins.
In the fields around my house the farmers are monitoring the condition of the soil and the crops. They are carefully measuring their growth and moisture content to determine the optimum time to make plans for the harvest. The playgrounds at camp (where I live) are eerily quiet and the marching bands have concluded their pre-season practices on the athletic fields and anticipate the launch of the new competition season.
All of this is a reminder that there is a rhythm to life, often marked with the passing of seasons. Glorious warm days of summer give way to amazing colors of fall with its crisp air and shorter days. Fall slides into the cold and snow of winter that have a unique beauty of their own. Spring arrives and reminds us that life, like nature, renews itself as it moves through the seasons, and summer returns to us full circle.
The writer of Ecclesiastes speaks of this ebb and flow of life and the things that make up life. Sometimes he is upbeat, other times he laments the state of the world and the seeming monotony of life. However there is one key theme that he shares in chapter 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." He follows this simple statement with a rather comprehensive list of contrasting activities that place in tension both the positive and negative of life. They are presented in a sort of balance beam or teeter-totter fashion leading one to believe that all of life is a balance of that which is considered good and that which is considered bad. At the conclusion of this list he shares a profound statement regarding the balance and rhythm that God has built into our lives. Ultimately, it is good. This tension of experiences molds our lives and shapes our character.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. - Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (NIV2011)