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A Time for Everything


Quoting Ecclesiastes 3, verses 1 through 8, from The Message Bible (TMB):

"There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another reap,
A right time to kill and another heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct
A right time to cry and another laugh
A right time to lament and another cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace."

Someone asked recently: "Does that mean bad things also?" Well, easy answer: No. I'm glad the question was asked, because it made me question the true meaning of 'everything'.

This passage speaks to the balance of things that you do in your life. Quite naturally, most people spend the most time doing the things that they're good at:
  • There are people that love to speak, but they have problems shutting up.
  • There are people that love to embrace, but they struggle to part from their beloved.
  • There are those who love to be happy all the time, and actually detest being sad.
  • Some love to collect things/items, and struggle to throw some of that stuff out.
I myself have been guilty (in teenage years) of collecting everything that had significance. You know, like the sneakers you hit the winning goal with. But I can tell you, I felt a huge sense of relief and release when I threw half of that stuff out.

The principle here is balance. Balance is tricky. Balance means that you have to forego what you probably love to do the most -- take some time and do things you're not good at. You can't grow in a few areas of your life, and leave the rest to suffer.

I've know of persons who refuse to have a sad moment in their lives. For them it's painful. So they'll gloss over the death of a family member saying, "I shouldn't feel so down!" Yet, later on life, they struggle with anxiety and fear of death. This happens if one doesn't take the time to deal with the painful moments of life. It's ok to cry about it, grieve about it... once you're dealing with it. Then you can move on with lessons learnt.

Here's Solomon again, in the same book:
"It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth."
(Ecclesiastes 7, verses 2 through 4)

You know, most types of mental illness are referred to as imbalances. Too much focus on few areas of life.

If you're suffering from imbalance in your life right now, it's a good time to do something in your life that you hate to do, or have been procrastinating for some time about doing.

(Side thought, that's why everyone in the world is different... because we're not good at everything, and someone else has the answers you're looking for. So we need to share knowledge, and be open to new knowledge.)

Let's come up in all areas of our lives.

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