I Blog For Books

17 October 2009

To Everything ... There is a Season

Since I stopped working on Saturday nights, I can usually be found in front of the computer playing some nonsensical (ie. time-wasting) game while the radio plays in the background. When I say radio, I mean of course, listening live through my computer. My usual Saturday night fare is Jukebox Saturday Night with Allen Skipper on WOAB 104.9. I listen to Allen for a couple of reasons: first-we are friends and I enjoy listening to him on the radio. The other reason I listen is that music inspires me. It always has, even before I started writing regularly. This week, while listening, I was struck with inspiration by the song "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds.

Whether or not you are a secular music fan, you are probably at least somewhat familiar with these lyrics. Why? Because Pete Seeger took HIS inspiration for this song from the Bible! Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, in fact. Verses 1-8 in the King James version underwent very few changes to be turned into this wildly popular tune written in 1959 but not released by Seeger until his 1962 album The Bitter and The Sweet. "Turn, Turn, Turn" was also released that same year, by a little known group named the Limeliters. Don't know them? How about "things go better with coca-cola?" Yep, that's the Limeliters.The Byrds released "Turn, Turn, Turn" in October 1, 1965, probably the song's best known version.

Get your Bible and turn to Ecclesiastes, chapter 3. Unless you've never heard the song before, I'm willing to bet that many of you are singing to yourselves as you read! "To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time to every purpose under heaven." It is said that the only lyrics that can actually be credited to Pete Seeger are the phrase "turn, turn, turn" and the song's last line "I hope it's not too late." So what does this song have to do with a devotion? As I'm sure most of you know by now, I love music. I find inspiration in what some may consider pretty off-the-wall stuff. Let's break it down a bit and look at the next part of the song.

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

What does the Bible say?

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, a time to heal
A time to weep, and a time to laugh

What does that mean to me? There is indeed a time for each of us to be born, and a time for each of us to die. We don't know when our time to die will come, and I'm relatively certain there is good reason for that. God knows, and that is enough. What we sow, so shall we reap. Galatians 6:7 tells us this. If you plant seeds of bitterness, do you truly expect to reap happiness?? Think about what you are planting! I probably have the most problem with the phrase "A time to kill, a time to heal". The only reasoning I can find to make this sit well with me is not to take it literally as in killing = murder, but to look at it from the perspective that sometimes things have to be stopped where they are. If I am living my life full of self-destructive habits, I have to "kill" those habits before I can heal. For each negative that I replace with a positive, I have "killed" in order to heal.

Last but certainly not least, there will indeed be times in our lives when we must weep, and times when we will overflow with joy in such a way that it will manifest itself as laughter. Stop and think for a moment: when was the last time you cried? Why? Was it a momentary hurt, or a deep soul-wrenching ache? What about the last time you laughed? Is it just me, or is it true that the ones who can make you cry the hardest are also those who can make your laughter the deepest? When someone is that close to you, they have the ability to both wound and heal. Sound familiar?

Lord, when I open my eyes each morning, make me have a smile upon my face. I should face each day thankful with the chance that I have been given instead of grumbling about what I'd rather not do. God indeed has a purpose for everything that He does. Lord, please give me the will to follow your will instead of thinking that I know what is best. There is a reason, just as there is a season. May I follow the seasons that you have set for my life, and live in a way that pleases you. As I walk through the seasons, your reasons will become clear.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
~Ecclesiastes 1:3 NIV

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