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Friday, December 14, 2012

a time to every purpose

The night before we got the news about my grandpa, I had a conversation with Paul about having a hard time being patient as my grandpa approached the end of his life.  As those who have had a loved one on hospice know, the journey can have many emotional ups and downs, and unlike many other things in life, there is no way to predict what will happen or to make any definite plans.  I was feeling anxious about the timing of my grandpa's death: Would I be able to take off work?  Would it happen while we were travelling for the holidays?  These seemingly superficial concerns took precedence over the more emotional concerns for my grandpa because they were easier to feel and comprehend.  

I can plan out blog posts.  I can plan out the last days at my job.  I can plan my community's December schedule.  I can plan out Christmas shopping and flight plans.  But I can't plan when I'll lose somebody.  For the most part, you can't plan when you enter the world or leave it.  

This is a necessary reminder during the time of Advent.  In the flurry of Christmas plans, I can get lured into thinking that life will occur exactly how I plan it.  I can check things off my Christmas gift to-buy list, I can check events off my Christmas social calendar (which is obviously very extensive).  While I am empowered to make goals and decisions for myself, there are some things that are simply out of my hands.  And that is ok.  Things still usually turn out well, even when I don't have control over the outcome.  

There is a time for everything.  A time to trust.  A time to be patient.  A time to mourn.  A time to laugh.  A time to remember.  A time to celebrate.  A time to be present. 

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what 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 seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, 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 for war, and a time for peace.

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