“Turn, Turn, Turn. There is a Season…”

by Rev. Terry Tripp, CFDM Northwest Co-Director

(c) Mona Eby Chicks

To everything
Turn, turn, turn
There is a season
Turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under Heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything
Turn, turn, turn
There is a season

Can you hear the melody? In the 60’s the Byrds made Ecclesiastes popular! Are we facing anything that has not occurred before? One might wonder given the political rancor or the evil lurking around the world. But we are assured that God has all things in God’s hands:

“I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.” Ecclesiastes 3:14-15

That doesn’t mean we are free from holy discernment. Somewhere in the mystery of God’s will not being thwarted is the invitation to hear the voice of Jesus and choose accordingly. But that is where faith lives; in the choosing according to the voice we seek to hear more fully as we participate in what God is already doing. It is the voice of love, the voice of relationship, the voice of powerlessness; a voice that is not popular in our time, nor really in any time past.

In CFDM, we talk a lot about discernment. It does not happen easily, nor quickly – but thoughtfully and prayerfully, we begin to find the life we are meant to live; what indeed gives us life. We weigh what faith values over and against what the culture may proclaim. And try to discern where faith and culture part ways. This is not for the faint of heart!

As I enter my sixtieth year, I’m making simple but difficult discernments. I want to choose to engage others rather than being right. I want to live hopefully as a widow. I want to keep my mouth shut when I’m tempted to give personal advice when it’s not asked for. I want to be honest when it costs me embarrassment. I want to believe that my memories of my late husband will be sweet while being full of grief. I want to trust God for community when yet little exists. Make peace when I get an angry response. Give away my place in line when someone else has greater needs. Intend love when hate is rampant – nurture fun when my heart is full of sadness – and hold dear the memories of a life that is gone when others have forgotten. I want to enter a season of being “delivered from tears, that I may walk humbly without stumbling before the Lord in the land of the living.” (Ps. 116:8-9)

May it be a season that turns?

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