“Now is the time; now is the best time. Now is the best time of your life!”
Fans of Walt Disney will recognize the theme music to the wonderful attraction called “The Carousel of Progress.” This iconic moving-theater experience was originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair, and then disassembled and reconstructed in Tomorrowland in 1975. The cheerful message of progress through the century is a reminder that the best time we are living in is right now.
Do you believe that you are in the best time of your life? I imagine for many of us the answer is no. If you are dealing with addiction, undergoing chemotherapy, incarcerated, going through a rough divorce, dealing with rebellious children, caring for elderly parents, etc., you may not consider this the “best time of your life.” And that’s not even adding a global pandemic to the mix. This could hardly be considered our best time…and that’s OK.
The writer of Ecclesiastes has an important reminder for us about the nature of time:
Ecclesiastes 3 New International Version (NIV)
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
There is something comforting in realizing that there is a season for EVERYTHING under the sun. Everything has a place, everything follows an order, and everything has an appropriate and proper point on the space-time continuum. Even the things we dread have their own place. Death, war, mourning, plagues, and hate all have an allotted measure in the grand scope of our lives.
The best part is that it’s an allotted measure, i.e. something that happens for a specified period of time. This scripture teaches us that time is God-ordained and controlled and we should just relax and let life flow accordingly.
Does that work for you? Yeah, me neither.
When this doesn’t work for me is when MY timing doesn’t jive with God’s timing. Either I am being too slow to respond to his bidding, or (more likely the case) rushing into things with great enthusiasm without waiting for his direction.
Godly direction is the key to this whole thing. When we pray, discern, and yield ourselves COMPLETELY to God’s timing, he ushers us into the best time of our lives. Setting aside our preconceived notion of when something should begin or end allows God to act as Timekeeper, and sets life into motion according to his plan.
Is it time to do something? Is it time to change? Time to move? Has the time come to speak up, or be quiet and let others sort things out? Is it time to end something? Maybe you are entering a season of growing, re-inventing yourself, and leaving all kinds of heavy things behind.
This beautiful passage assures us that there is indeed a time for everything, and God is in each moment.
“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
I hope you dance.