We live in a world that likes to create and maintain as many distinctions amongst people as possible. Class, interests, careers, sporting teams followed, even culinary tastes, are enough to cause division and ensure that people never see eye to eye or share things in common. However, one thing that everybody does have and shares in common is time. Each person alive has exactly 24 hours of 60 minutes each day. C.S. Lewis put it this way when he said: “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”
Consequently, time has great value in our lives. Once it has passed, time can never be replaced! You might feel frustrated because the current season of your life has lasted too long, in your estimation. There are also moments in life where we realise that time is running out!
Almost impossible to define, yet observed and experienced by all, time is the next subject that is explored by Solomon in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3. He has considered the tangible, practical experiences in previous chapters, but now moves into the realm of the intangible. What he observes is that time is both beautiful and burdensome. He speaks of the rhythm, the sense of order to life, where time seems to be structured by seasons of various forms that come and go. He highlights the various shades of time, journeying through both the positive and negative.
Through this chapter Solomon serves a timely reminder to us – that we cannot control time, and that there is much in our lives that is out of our control. The purpose of the passage is to point us to the timeless God, who is transcendent and above time, and therefore that He is in control and sovereign over our time! This timeless God, came into time, in order to free us from it! He ultimately spent all His time on earth, for you!
In this knowledge, the cycle of life can be entrusted into His care, knowing that He will empower and enable us to be wise stewards of the important time granted us here on earth – Eph 5:15-17. And, if we do this, we can know that, “He has made all things beautiful in His time” Eccl 3:11.
Please consider joining us this Sunday from 6.00 p.m. for Part 3 of our series in the book of Ecclesiastes called “Time”.