The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
1) I have been reflecting on the seasons of my own life lately and I have come to some conclusions. This is my own interpretation of these verses and they are in very simplistic terms and I in no way claim to be an expert on the Bible and hope that whoever reads this understands that. Someone else may have a totally different interpretation. These were verses that Mama loved and she passed that on to me.
2) A time to be born. We have no control over when we are born. We have no control over what gender we will be, what kind of family we are born into or where we will be born. We are born when, what, where and who God chooses us to be. These are all things that are in God’s hands and on his timetable. As of this writing, I have not yet died and hope not to for many years. I do not fear death, I only know that I love life as complicated as it might be sometimes, and I am not ready to give us this life just yet. I know that we don’t get to choose when it will happen, only God knows that. I have planted many seeds some of which never came to fruition, but many have and I have reaped their many blessings; my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my entire family, my husband’s entire family and the many friends I have made over the years. They have all been blessings in my life. My life abounds in blessings. My basket is full.
3) A time to kill… I have never killed anyone or anything, unless you count the bugs I have squished beneath my feet and the chicken whose neck I partially wrung. Mama had to finish the job because I was hysterical. I have never forgotten that little chicken and it gave me the most awful feeling which I have never forgotten. I have never been able to understand how one can do that. I understand that many die in battle and killing for whatever reason started when Cain slew Abel. There have been many occasions when I have healed from some physical ailment or from some type of emotional hurt. I have been broken down and I have been built up again to come back stronger.
4) I have cried many tears both in absolute sorrow and happiness. I have mourned the death of my first born child, Debbie, but I danced joyfully at my son’s wedding.
5) A time to cast stones and a time to gather stones could probably be interpreted in many ways. To me, it sort of reminds me of the root patch from my childhood. The ground would be plowed and we would remove the roots and stones and when they were all cleared and the ground was cultivated, my Daddy would sow the seeds and then we would harvest the crop. I have embraced life and a certain way of living and all that it has offered me and I have refrained from embracing things or people who try to influence my life in the wrong way.
6) I have gotten many things, some that I really wanted and needed and others which I thought I wanted or needed but really found that I had no use for. I have also lost many things, some valued, some not. There have been many times when I felt I had lost my way but I found my way back to where I needed to be. It could also be about letting go of something that is holding you back or pulling you down.
7) I have been torn by emotions and I have been mended and restored. There are times when I held my tongue because I knew if I spoke it would do irreparable damage. But there were also times when I spoke and it was well received.
8) I have loved much and I have hated little. Hate is a powerful, destructive emotion. I have watched it destroy people, families and friendships. I can’t really say I have never really hated anyone. It is an easy word to say but can be powerful when it hits your heart. I do remember telling my mother that I hated her when I was a teen, but I didn’t mean it. I also remember my daughter telling me she hated me when she was in her teens, but she told me she didn’t mean it. It is an easy word to roll from the tongue when you are angry and frustrated. There are many people and things I dislike but do not hate.
As for war, it seems it has been around in some shape or form since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. Through the years the faces, countries, uniforms and weapons have changed, but the objective is the same. There is so much destruction of property, loss of many lives and the total ruination of countries, and at times it is hard to understand and see what purpose it serves. It seems that when war is over, things are no different than before in some instances and that it was all for nothing. Our losses seem much greater than any gains we had imagined. This Country had always defended Freedom. We have always stepped in when our allies were in trouble and we have sent our young men and women into battle and many have given the supreme sacrifice… their lives… or in some cases their limbs, and their minds. They come back home having witnessed and heard things that we only see in movies. To us it is make believe and we can’t comprehend the enormity of it all. The human brain is just not programmed for the violence and atrocities of war. That is why it is so difficult for me to comprehend the newest threat against our freedoms,,, and that is ISIS. they seem to have no regard for human life. But, how can we expect that they will when they have no regard for their own lives, the lives of their children and women. It is a badge of honor for them to give their lives for their cause.
And the final, PEACE. Will we ever be able to achieve it? I certainly hope that will happen, but we have many obstacles to overcome before we do. There have been times of peace during my lifetime, but they do not seem to last. All we can do is keep living a good life, helping our fellow man, teaching our children the difference between right and wrong and leading them by example. If everyone did this, perhaps someday we could have peace. I don’t imagine this will happen, but I pray that it does and will hope and pray that my small contribution will help to facilitate that. All I ask is that God bestow his blessings on everyone and that each of us strive to be the best that we can be.