A Time for Everything (lessons in Ecclesiastes)

The phrase “a time for everything” is often thrown around without much thought. Pete Seeger even put the words to a song in 1959, which became number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 4, 1965. Do we really believe those words?

God even allows for time to do “nothing.” The Bible contains many warnings against foolishness, idleness, and laziness. Solomon writes that there is a time for everything, including rest. Jesus also taught and demonstrated the importance of rest. Let us not confuse “idleness” with “doing nothing.”  A.A. Milne, author and creator of Winnie the Pooh, said, “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” In the newest adaptation of the beloved Hundred Acre Wood characters, the movie Christopher Robin, Pooh says, “Doing Nothing often leads to the very best of Something.” Every day, my to-do list is full of Somethings. Yet even on my most scheduled day, I often learn the most through what is unplanned. When I feel overwhelmed, but the kids are begging me to play with them, these moments bring me the most joy.

Consider that Solomon is recording these words near the end of his life. He’s chased after all the things and found it all to be meaningless. Vanity. Like trying to catch the wind

When you are in the midst of grief,

When you experience joy that overflows,

When you wrestle with the weight of the world,

When you overcome hurts, habits, and hang-ups,

When you feel like you cannot take another step,

When you rise on the wings of eagles,

There is purpose!

“I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).  This fear is reverence toward and submission to God. Whatever we face, He is there. He can handle our questions, doubts, and heartache. He is the ONLY ONE who can. 

After Solomon’s discourse on all that is meaningless, he writes, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). 

Lean into His purpose. Let others hold onto hope for you when you feel unable and do the same for others. Remember that each season has a limited time. Whatever you face on earth has an expiration date. Only God endures forever!


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