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.
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.
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.
Those of us who grew up in the 60’s-70’s rock and roll era readily remember these words from Ecclesiastes that drifted over the radio waves. It has taken me a lot of seasons to really comprehend how important it is to understand that God has a timing for everything and His principle of a time for quiet and rest is absolutely essential for our well being. But we certainly don’t learn this from our culture! We become so stressed out with all the things we think we need to do that we gravitate toward time management courses and sophisticated organizational systems to keep us on track. That way we can squeeze out a little more useable time to fill up with things that stress us out even more, or so it seems. Along with the rest of the country I became interested in the TV series The Apprentice, and became fascinated with how these would be apprentices maneuvered and competed as to how they could work smarter, to win the victory, with the prize being a high paying stressful job. It seems so glamorous, so dripping with status laden success. But as we know, even all that does not buy happiness or spiritual wholeness.
Jesus, our ultimate example, took time to drink in the peace that comes from communing with God through prayer and quiet time. If Jesus had time to ‘chill with the Father’ how silly can we be by thinking we can bypass that important element of life and still maintain a healthy outlook? If God rested after making the world, how can we possibly think we can burn the candle at both ends without toasting our fingers?
Schedules, finances and responsibilities often make it difficult to take a time of rest, but we that Sabbath.. It’s priority. We need to refuel, drink in, and best of all take some sweet time and ‘chill with the Father.’
God knew we would need times of quiet and rest. So He not only implored us through His Word to ‘be still and know I am God’, but He showed by example (when Jesus lived on earth) and by constant visual demonstration (the seasons, the changes in weather, the light of day and the dark of night) that a part of a balanced whole and healthy life is one that includes seasons of rest. So, as you plan your in your daytimer or mark your New Year’s calendar, may you pencil in (actually no, write it in ink) some times for quiet pauses and spiritual refreshment.