Turn! Turn! Turn!
To everything there is a season… Isn’t that the way the lyrics go for the famous song by the Byrds back in 1965? In fact, the song was originally written much earlier, back in the fifties, but didn’t top the charts until December, 1965 when the Byrds debuted the song at #80 during the month of October that same year. And one of the things that many people don’t realize is that the lyrics from the song, except the last two lines and the catchy refrain, are directly from the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. So, as a footnote to the lyrics of the song, they are the oldest lyrics ever written that made it to the top of the charts. Since Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, lived thousands of years ago, I guess nobody else really comes close to the age of the words he wrote!
But the song comes to mind today because of all the changes going on in our lives. I noticed on Facebook today that a childhood friend lost her father yesterday, and several weeks ago, another grammar school friend lost her father as well. Although both these men were undoubtedly in their nineties, that doesn’t make it any easier when the loss finally occurs.
I remember when I was younger that I felt protected from death by the fact that there was a generation ahead of me that would statistically pass on first. Then my own father died… and in 1998, Mom passed away and suddenly, my generation was the next in line – the elders of the family, if you will… Thank goodness Janet and I have good health, but we are getting to the age that you really can’t tell what is going to happen. I remember my Uncle Wayne used to tell me, “The young may die, but the old must die…” True words, short of the rapture occurring before the end of my life!
Another change of season is at hand as well. I have worked continually since I was in about 10 years old. That means more than half a century of work without much of a break at all. And now, I am reflecting on the next chapter of my life – what does it look like when I don’t have to go to work every day? I know some guys love the fact that they are free to do as they please, and I could become one of them, but for now, I am trying to get used to the idea that God has a plan for the next season of my life and I just have to be open to listening for what it is.
And that plan may include the corporate world – or not… Maybe it is ministry related, but then again, it may be to continue to influence the younger generations in the corporate community. Janet sure likes the fact that I have more free time – and so do I. Admittedly, I am a little sad at the seeming end of one chapter of my life – and extremely excited at what may be next up for me.
At the end of this month, Janet and I will head east to Williamsburg and take a few days to discuss our plans for the future. I am gradually getting used to a little slower pace and that is just fine with me. But I am not sitting back watching the grass grow. I am listening – for the leading of the Holy Spirit to nudge me in whatever direction I am supposed to head.
So – changes in life lend credence to the verses that the Byrds used in Turn! Turn! Turn! Our verse tonight comes from one of the stanzas in chapter 3. Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes tells us in verse 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…”
My encouragement this evening is that God knows all about you and has your best interests at heart. And as we age, there is no question that our life experiences make us more valuable in assisting others and advancing the Kingdom. While our activities may change with the seasons of our lives, the motive of our activities should be the same. My prayer tonight is that you will honor God and invoke the name of Christ in your petitions to the Father. We are told that we are to be in constant communion with God and that only happens when we are fully engaged and committed to loving one another well – regardless of what season of life we are in! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…