This week my daughter will graduate. It’s an exciting time, yet a sad time; a time of closing chapters, and a time of opening new doors. A time to say goodbye to what has always been and a time to embrace what’s new.
Sound a little like Ecclesiastes?
“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 time to uproot…a time to weep and time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…a time to to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing…”
Well, it just so happens the book of Ecclesiastes is what my husband has been preaching through this semester, so both at church and in our home we’ve been hearing a lot about time, meaninglessness, and everything “under the sun.” Much has struck me from this book and two things in particular as it relates to this current season our family is in, but applicable to all seasons and stages of life.
1. Everything in the world or “under the sun” as the writer in Ecclesiastes 1 puts it seems meaningless. But could it be that we gain meaning in this world by coming face to face with the brokenness of the world? Does it take knowing sadness to experience true joy? In other words, does it take seeing how fleeting, frustrating and/or futile life is to realize what we really long for doesn’t exist “under the sun”?
What we want is permanent happiness and perfect peace. But until we embrace the reality that we cannot control or tame time, or find “life” where it wasn’t intended to be found, we will be discontent. This is because we were made for another world; made for something more. True life, joy, peace, and contentment can only come from above the sun – in Christ. In him is where we find life, meaning, purpose, and true joy.
Therefore, holding on tightly to my time with children, as wonderful as it is, cannot ultimately give me life. And as much as my identity is wrapped up in being a mom, my identity must be rooted in Christ so that my purpose is not diminished when my kids fly out of the nest.
2. If there is a season for everything, there is great hope knowing that whatever pain, suffering, or sadness we experience will come to an end. But while we are in a season it is okay to not be okay, because that is the season we are in.
That is so freeing to me! That means it is okay for me to be sad while in this season of sadness. I don’t have to pretend I’m not, apologize for being a downer, or try to be any way other than how I am. And when other people around us are in a certain season, why are we not okay with letting them stay there? Why do we want to try to fix it when it is not yet time?
I love this quote from author Zach Eswine, “Humanity still has Eden in its veins.” We were created for everything to be right in the world. And this is what we still long for.
Your life season may look very different than mine. Some of you have little ones where the only kind of graduation on your mind is graduating out of diapers. For others, your kids are so long gone that you have stood the test of time to be able to tell me with great certainty that the best is yet to come! Even so, it doesn’t seem right to me, right now, that my child should be moving on from me.
Praise God I have a Savior who was the only One who tamed time. When His hour had come, the world went dark as He gave himself up to be crucified for the sin of all His people throughout all of time. After three days He ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God ruling and reigning over all time. So now during this bitter-sweet graduation week, I look to Him knowing that “under the sun/Son” there will be pain and sorrow, but He makes all things beautiful in its time.