A New Year’s Eve reflection

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-13) A version for those of us chronologically advantaged) by Maren Tirabassi— a UCC pastor and writer in NH

For everything there is a season, but my joints creak a lot in the winter.

The time to be born is the distant past, and it’s time I think about improving what gets written in my obituary. There’s a time to plant myself in front of the fire, and a time to pluck up my behind from the recliner; a time to kill the sharp response, and a time to heal the family wounds; a time to break down in public – who cares? and a time to build up the confidence of some teenager.

There’s a time to weep, creep, and unexpectedly sleep, and a time to laugh at myself doing it; a time to throw away … well, just about everything, and a time to gather a little online savvy; a time to embrace and embrace and embrace, and a time to silently hope I will not soon experience what it is to refrain from embracing.

There’s a time to seek, to lose, and to wonder why I came here in the first place; a time to tear down any old walls that are still standing, and a time to stitch up my lips; lots of time to keep silence … in front of a sunrise, a child’s smile, and several enthusiastic plans that I know won’t work out, and a time to speak kindly and with lots of love … after that happens.

There are months and months and months for love, and a couple hours to hate loneliness, cancer, and Alzheimer’s Disease. There is a time to really hate war, racism, intolerance, and a time to work for peace, no matter how old or tired or frustrated I feel.

What gain do workers or retirees have from their toil? I have seen that many things fail or fade or fritter away — quite a few in the church I love — but God has given a joy to being busy.

God has put past and future in our minds, and sometimes they flip flop, and my brain goes back to the beginning. It’s OK. There is nothing better than to be happy, spread happiness, but never be comfortable while there is one unhappy story on the news — one refugee, one heroin loss, one broken police force and remind everyone of God’s simple gifts – food, drink and the pleasure of work well done.

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The Federated Church
of Orleans

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