There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens …
- Ecclesiastes 3:1
Our crazy busyness lies to us. It tells us that everything is important and it tells us that everything is urgent. Everything has to be done and it has to be done right now.
Over the past several weeks we’ve done good work discerning what’s most important to us. But what do you do if you discover that you have multiple things that are important? Your work matters but so does your family. You need to give time to getting emotionally healthy, but you also need to repair that relationship with that crazy sibling. How do you navigate these tensions?
This week’s passage will help us. The collected wisdom in the book of Ecclesiastes is unusual – at times cynical – and challenging. And today’s verse cuts right to the heart of our question.
“There is a time for everything,” we read. You don’t have to cram everything into this immediate moment. Some important things can wait. Others need your attention now.
There’s a huge difference between saying “Not now” and “Not ever.” Maintaining healthy life rhythms and wise boundaries proves an insurmountable challenge if your only decision-options are “Yes, immediately” or “No, never.”
God does huge things in our lives when we shift from Now-Or-Never Thinking to Season Thinking.
As one example, imagine what this shift can for your prayer life. If you ask God to help you out and he doesn’t seem to respond, Now-Or-Never Thinking would cause you to abandon your praying. But if you shift toward Season Thinking, you’ll receive an extra dose of endurance: “This is my season of asking. I’ll keep at it until he responds.” You’ll experience a boost of patience and joy as you pray. And your relationship with the God who listens to you will deepen.
Where in your life do you find yourself trapped in Now-Or-Never Thinking? Where have you experienced the benefits of Season Thinking?