Monday, March 30, 2009

Lent 28: To every thing, turn, turn.

In the early 60s, Pete Seeger performed his song based on Ecclesiastes 3:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

This morning, a high-schooler slowly lifts herself out the back seat of the Hyundai ahead of me. I She is at the age when people try to do everything listed in a day. Dressed in ragged jeans, the young woman saunters across the street in front of her mom’s car. Our light turns yellow, then red as we watch the teenager drift towards her school. A long queue of cars forms behind me and we settle in to wait for the signal change. Dozens of cars stream past us on the arterial.

On green, the mom and another passenger cruise slowly around the corner. The driver tromps on the gas any time there’s a break or passing lane. She turns at every light in front of me for several miles until she gets into the carpool turn for the freeway. While she sits at another yellow, I drive straight ahead to the main on-ramp. The woman catches up to me again three miles down the road, zooming by in the HOV lane. It’s a reminder to pray for her family.

I’m wondering why I take notice. It’s such a small matter at the beginning of the week. My main feeling as we drive near each other is relief. I wouldn’t want go back to being a high schooler’s mom… ah, those mood swings and glowering silences. Our kids seem to have survived their teens with a sense of God’s affirmation and his work through them.

This season of life is rich. Our oldest son is marrying his sweetheart in a month and a half. She makes my son happy – and it was fun to see how beautifully she arranged my birthday roses yesterday. Our daughter has a great job back East. Another son and his wife work in ministry; he’s in real estate and she works in a law office. Our youngest son is in college and turned 20 last week. This is a good time of life. Indeed.

God's peace be with you.

*For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

*Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically." Romans 12:9–11 NLT

*Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NIV

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