Ecclesiastes 8: 5b-7
And the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him. Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come? NIV
I think these verses are interesting.
There is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s heart weighs heavily upon him …
The Message translates that, “the wise person obeys promptly and accurately. Yes, there’s a right time and and way for everything, even though, unfortunately, we miss it for the most part.” MSG
I remember the first wedding I went to. I was nine, my cousin was getting married (my FAVORITE cousin) and she asked me to be a junior bridesmaid. Everything about it was magical to me. I loved having my dress made, and preparing for the trip to her town. When we arrived, she gave me a little charm bracelet with one charm that had a little picture of a junior bridesmaid on the front. It was engraved. Below the picture it said, “Junior Bridesmaid,” and on the back, it had the date of her wedding.
I wore that bracelet for months … it was like a little medal.
I remember the rehearsal, and how much fun everyone seemed to be having. And, there was a junior groomsman. They showed us how to link arms as he walked me down the aisle after the practice wedding.
On the big day, everything seemed like a dream come true. My mother did my hair, and I got to hang out with the “senior bridesmaids” before the service. My cousin had never looked prettier.
I loved the reception … I loved how she and her new husband cut their cake, and that she threw her bouquet and someone got to catch it and take it home!
It was years before I attended another wedding. When I did, I was surprised at the similarities between it and the very, very special wedding that my cousin had. As time went on, and I went to more and more of them, I realized that all weddings were pretty much the same.
There’s a right time and way for everything …
Most of life isn’t like a wedding … but, perhaps it should be. There are certain steps that we all must take, and, for the big transitions, we’ve developed a “right way” of doing them. We have ceremonies and rights of passage … christenings, baptisms, graduations, funerals … but, there are many things in life where there are no ceremonies. We’re left to figure them out on our own.
It is at those times, when, perhaps, we are most vulnerable to making a mis-step. It is at those times that our misery weighs heavy upon us. We hurt someone’s feelings, we behave selfishly, we make a poor decision.
As I look back at my life, my worries seldom stem from the ceremonial moments.
The last sentence in these verses seems to address that … no man knows the future.
It’s good that we don’t have a playbook for life. It’s good that we don’t know everything that will happen before we get there. Not knowing allows us to live in the moment, and to truly trust God.
It’s true that as we look back at our lives they will all have been pretty similar, but, the unique moments that each day holds are what makes every day an adventure to be lived, and, they are what makes each of us who we are.
I’ll have to think about that today.