A Time for Everything

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
The death of a very good friend prompted reflection on this verse and the remainder of its context. This was one of his favorite passages, and one which was born out by his life. He died at the age of 92. Consider the various “times” of his life:
He was a bachelor for 52 years, then married to the same woman for 40.
He was a soldier/airman for 30 years, a farmer for 40.
He was not a Christian until he was over 50 years of age, yet served as an elder of the church for 20 years.
He was a member of the last mounted cavalry band in the U.S. Army.
He was in the crew which flew the last active B-36 bomber to its final resting place.
Not only is there a time for every purpose in this world, but there is often time for a variety of purposes in each of our lives. We often become trapped and limited by the conception that we are of few talents or opportunities. Ours is the age of specialization and we may feel that if we can accomplish one thing, that is enough. Or we may feel that we cannot reasonably expect more than that. The truth is that life often holds many and varied opportunities and we may be able to take advantage of them all.
History is filled with the stories of men and women who completed one or more “careers” before attempting that which earned them greatest fame. Grandma Moses, Colonel Harlan Sanders, Winston Churchill, and many others were great achievers at times when most are well into retirement. Others tried and succeeded in differing vocations earlier in life.
A favorite advice column letter from several years ago read, “I would like to be a doctor, but if I started medical school right now and completed it in six years I would be 36 when I graduated.” The answer was, “If you don?t go to medical school, how old will you be in six years?”
There is indeed a time for every purpose under heaven, and many of us have the time to fulfill more than one of those purposes. Paul urges us, “Redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16).

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Michael Brooks

Since 1988 Mike and his wife Brenda have been involved in foreign missions in South America, Africa, and South Asia. Beginning in 1999 they devoted full time to missions, primarily in Bangladesh and Nepal.

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