Ecclesiastes is at points the “realist” and at other points the true pessimist. The lament is real, powerful and strong. What is human legacy? What is the purpose of life? What is our relationship with God good for? These are all strong and real questions. I just can’t count the number of people I have encountered who sounded just like the voice in Ecclesiastes without ever reading it. Its placement in the Bible is wonderful for Pastoral reasons. It is really great to point out that yes our Bible can have the real and raw emotions of life and yet still be considered “biblical.”
There are so many seasons in our life. It would be impossible to name all the seasons we go through, all the changes in our life be them big or small. Life is a series of transitions that we either accept or fight. There are points in our life when the transitions are small and we don’t even notice they happened and other times when standing in the crossroads we choose which way to go.
There is a time to open doors and a time to close them. A time to roll up your sleeves and a time to throw up your hand. There is a time to jump in the mud and a time to leap the puddle, a time to follow the rules and a time to break them, a time to take a drink and a time to stay sober, a time to raise kids and a time to retire. There is a time to cheer and a time to boo, a time to fall and a time to get up again, a time to remember and a time to forget. Of course there is also a time to love and a time to continue loving.
And it is trusting in the assurance of seasons that brings the pessimistic voice into the voice of optimism. It is in knowing there is rhythm of life. That today might be one thing but tomorrow something new might come along. It is within this rhythm that we strive to let each moment sink in and not take for granted all the beauty around us. It is within this rhythm that we get up each morning trusting and knowing that today could be different. And it is in this rhythm that we not only need God but we find God.
God is in every moment. God is in the moments we don't like and in the moments we wish would last forever. God is in our doubts and most importantly God is there when we feel like the voice in Ecclesiastes that life really isn't worth that much. God is there when we see and experience all moments of life. In fact, it was so important that we know God is there even in our times of lament that powerful books and passages were selected for our Bible to remind us of that!
There is a season for everything, a time to believe without question and a time to doubt. A time to wonder and a time to know, a time to be curious and a time to be wise, a time to listen and a time to tell, a time to know and a time to question and of course a time to believe and a time to take a leap! Let us all leap into the unknown trusting in the God that we meet each day.