Tear and Mend
“a time to tear and a time to mend”
Tearing and mending. Words common to a tailor or seamstress. Or a tent maker, Or one who makes sails for ships. Sometimes repairing or creating something new requires tearing away the old first. Tent making is an ancient art, and Paul was a tent maker nearly 2000 years ago. (Act 18:3). Ships sails are made from the same basic canvas materials, sewn together to the make the desired shapes. Whether in a tent in the year 58 AD, or the year 2020, storms arise. High winds are a natural part of worldwide weather patterns, and take their toll on tents and sails. Those winds, and rain, and hail, and sun, and dry rot can weaken your tent, or your sail significantly. When the canvas fails, you must tear out the damaged sections to repair them. You must tear away the parts that can no longer hold the fabric together. Then you must mend it.
The time to mend begins as you carefully cut the new material. Mending joins old and new together, to form a bond, not easily broken. Mending serves to restore the integrity of your tent, or sail. Mending can be effective and beneficial beyond just the physical touch of canvas. Mending a broken heart? Mending a marriage? Mending a relationship? Who can you call today, to mend your relationship?
Be Silent and Speak
“a time to be silent and a time to speak”
Silent Movies. The symphony. A child during the dinner prayer. Sitting in a crowded theater. At church during the sermon. In class when the professor is lecturing. In a conversation when you are the listener. Silence is more than just an absence of noise. Silence is a doorway beyond all that is demanded of you, and happening all around you. To be silent is to realize more of the unnoticed in life. The robin stepping softly across the grass, as if walking on air. The leaf brushing lightly against the rain gutter. God whispers quietly when we are silent enough to hear Him. The Holy Spirit is a gentlemen, speaking ever so delicately, yet with great purpose. Are you sometimes silent enough to hear?
And yet silence has a balance, and there is also a time to speak! As a parent when your young daughter is about to cut herself with a sharp knife, you must speak immediately, with authority in your voice!When your friend is wrongly accused, it is a time to speak in their defense. When your son is honored for scoring the winning touchdown for his team, your words of pride ring loud and clear. When you realize how much Jesus gave for you, His very life, you speak words of thanks. You humbly speak words of gratitude. You speak words of praise to all who can hear!
Love and Hate
“a time to love and a time to hate”
Love and hate. Emotions. Very strong emotions. Perhaps the two greatest passions in the world. To love and to be loved has no other equal in the human heart. Peace, security, confidence, and good health are all sought after, and prized when found. Nonetheless, they cannot hold a candle to love, especially when you are hurting. When you looked upon the open grave of someone very, very close to you, what did you feel? At the death of your mother, brother, or friend, where did you find solace? In that quiet moment of grief, did someone touch your hand? Did someone give you a silent hug? Without even speaking, their love was timeless, captured in the moment, reaching deep into your being, your soul. “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~ 1Corinthians 13:13 NIV
For every action, there is a reaction. For a time to love, there is a time to hate. What? Hate? It conveys an ultimately negative image. Hate is often nearby. Hate can engulf and surround us. Left unchecked, hate can destroy us! Why do you suppose Solomon included hate in Ecclesiastes? Was it to counterbalance love? Was it to point out the obvious, that hate exists in our world? Could it have been to note, there may be a proper time and place for hatred? When you see a mother beaten, do you hate abuse? When you see a man mugged and robbed on the street, do you have injustice? When you see a dictator brutalize his people, do you hate oppression and evil? Be wary of hate. It is an emotion as strong as love. But a time to love is healthy, and modeled after God’s own heart. A time to hate can be destructive when it is the false choice of free will, aimed negatively towards others. Hate abuse, injustice, and oppression. Love your family, your neighbors, and the people who cross your life path.
War and Peace
“a time for war and a time for peace”
Wow. Powerful words. A time for war. Is war ever just, the right response to a wrong action? Is war alway injust, the wrong response to a wrong action? Is war an inevitable part of human existence? The study of human history is often a study of people, separated and measured by the wars of their times. War has defined the end of a kingdom, and the rise of another.
- In the ancient world: The Babylonian Empire, The Medo-Persian Empire, The Greek Empire, The Roman Empire
- In the modern world: World War I, World War II, . . . . . . .
And the countless wars, invasions, and battles through the ages: Genghis Khan and the Mongol Invasion, The Napoleonic Wars, An Shi Rebellion, Thirty Years War, Korean War, Civil Wars, American Revolutionary War, Sino-Japanese War, The Vietnam War, The War in Iraq, and Afghanistan. Perhaps Solomon included “a time for war” as he observed mankind and our actions. Yet, Solomon does not stop with war, leaving us without hope. He continues the thought with “a time for peace”. Each of the wars mentioned, was separated, before and after, with a time of peace. Peace is desired, sought after, and to be welcomed and prolonged whenever possible. Jesus spoke of peace in the Beatitudes:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”
~ Mathew 5:9 NIV
Words of Wisdom from “The Preacher”
“What does the worker gain from his toil?”
“I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.”
*** A word about the Author of Ecclesiastes. Solomon? Perhaps. Often attributed. The Preacher? Noted within the Book itself. Another man of wisdom? For all our pondering, discussion, opinions, and “evidence”, the best resolve to understanding who wrote this book can be summed up in the idea, that when it was written: “You weren’t there”, and “I wasn’t there”, and there may be wisdom in agreeing, as we may never know for sure who wrote it.
Follow along as I continue with my new book on my journey in finding GOD