Read: Ecclesiastes 3
That which is already has been, that which is to be already is, and God seeks out what has gone by. So I saw that there is nothing better than that all should enjoy their work, for that is their lot; who can bring them to see what will be after them? (vv. 15, 22)
Time marches on and ever so rapidly. The old adage, “The older you become, the faster time goes by,” certainly holds true. I did see a brief psychological explanation for this phenomenon, but whether it can be explained scientifically or not, it happens. I speak from my experience, at least.
The third chapter of Ecclesiastes opens with a poem about time. The poem offers succinct statements about seemingly opposites of time: at time to be born and a time to die, a time for war and a time for peace. Implied, in my view, is that life happens between these opposites, and even in spite of these different ends of the spectrum.
Perhaps this is why time moves so rapidly. We are so involved in all of these experiences of life between the polar opposites, so wrapped up in moving from one pole to the other, that we allow the activity of life to overshadow the purpose, or the good that is accomplished.
Because this poem in the first part of chapter three is rather familiar, we tend to stop with it and not read what follows. But it is in the following verses that we glean insight, not for slowing time, but for making sense of it.
Verses 15 and 22 are directives to help us focus on the present. What is already has been and what is to be already is. In essence, the instruction is intended to ease our worry about what we have not accomplished and what yet needs to be done. All of the past and future is held in the present. We have no other moment. We can’t go back, and we are not guaranteed the next moment. There is nothing better, according to the author of this text, than to enjoy the work we do. And when do we do our work? In the present.
Our concerns about time moving so rapidly may be wrapped up in worry about what has not been or needs to be accomplished. Or if not worrying about it, at least wishing we could have done more or hoping we can squeeze more into our time. I’m riding in this boat constantly, and frequently anxious. When I’m most relaxed and satisfied is when I’m “in the zone” of the present moment, writing a piece, building a flower bed, painting a room, consoling a grieving soul. In these present moments, time stands still.
There is a time to be “present.”
Recap: Worship, May 29, 2022
The art of listening requires our silence. It is an opportunity to allow the other to “empty their bucket,” to share all that is on their mind, to “feel” that they have been heard. The one sharing “trusts” the one listening. Trust allows relationship. Relationship provides opportunity to move forward together peaceably.
Elijah became still, and in the silence “listened” to God. The art of listening Elijah shared opened the door for a deeper, trustful relationship with God.
Videos used in the service can be accessed with the following links:
City Sounds – (7) City sound effect 1 – downtown – YouTube
The Art of Listening – (7) The Art of Listening | Simon Sinek – YouTube
Trust in You, Lauren Daigle – (7) Lauren Daigle – Trust In You (Live) – YouTube
Facebook page video of the service – Canton Church of the Brethren – Illinois | Facebook
Worship Services over the next several weeks
We are employing new material, Seasons of the Spirit, to aid in the creation of worship service over the next several weeks. Seasons of the Spirit is ecumenical in content and follows scriptures outlined in the Revised Common Lectionary. As such, the themes of services may vary from week to week, however, all services will be biblically-based and be formatted as services have been the past several months. Each grouping of biblical texts will receive two week’s of attention. The format of the first week will be more traditional is style and the second week will follow a more theopoetic (arts-informed) format. Service will continue to be in-person as well as streamed on ZOOM and Facebook Live.
Topic: Worship Services April – June 2022
Time: April through June 2022 each Sunday 09:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 838 5299 1280
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Meeting ID: 838 5299 1280