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A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

The passage above from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes formed the framework for the messages at our church this summer. Seasons and rhythms are part of the way the world works. In Genesis 1, we see the rhythms of morning and evening, work and rest, and a seven-day week.

The summer season started for me when school got out on June 4. Yes, that’s a couple of weeks ahead of the official start to summer, but close enough. As the structure of the school year faded away, we welcomed the new season, full of freedom, space, and togetherness. I relaxed into this time, embracing the slower pace, the silly time with my kids, and the opportunity to make fun and play high priorities.

My work was shoved to the margins of my days and weeks, and it seemed appropriate for this season. I didn’t write for many weeks.

Instead, our days were shaped not only by the free time that summer brings but also by the other marks of the season. Our meals centered on fruit and veggies from our local CSA, full of color and freshness. Our days included many hours at the pool, soaking up the sun and enjoying the cool water. When it rained, we played board games and watched movies.

We traveled. We added 2000 miles to our car as we drove to see family far away. We reunited with friends for a time. We slept under the stars.

The summer season is now drawing to a close. It’s been full of wonder and togetherness. And I am grateful.

But it’s time. I am ready for the external structure that will come when school begins. I am ready to be in one place, to invest in my home and my garden, my local friends and my neighbors. There is a season for the pool, for blueberries, and for grilling. Those are good things and gifts of our good God. And there is a season for lunchboxes and homework, hot cocoa and butternut squash. And I look to that season with expectation as well. There is:

a time for chaos and a time for order,
a time for travel and a time for staying put.

a time for togetherness and a time for solitude,
a time for play and a time for work.

This time of chaos, of travel, of playtime and togetherness has been good for my soul. It’s stretched me in a good way, and I’ve embraced it.

And now I’m ready for the new season. It’s also a gift. May we embrace the seasons we are in, living in the present and appreciating what each season offers us and the ways God is with us in each time.

Anna Moseley Gissing

Anna Moseley Gissing is Associate Academic Editor of InterVarsity Press. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild, and her writing has been published in Let us Keep the Feast and Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two kids, and she aspires to more reading, more writing, and more patience.

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