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New Year’s Day Reflection:
A Time for Everything

The year that has just passed away was one of those years that held just about everything. I wished at times along the way, that I did not have time for it all . . . especially loss, death, flood. But, of course, I do not get to chose exactly how and when those things come.

At dinner tonight we were going around the table saying what we are thankful for. We do this every night. It often takes most of the meal time. Not always because we have so much on our lists, as that we are easily distracted. Other times the list is lengthy. Life with a talkative four-year-old.

Somehow we drifted into things were were thankful for in the past year. At which time, my husband and I looked at each other. I grimaced. He rolled his eyes. Then he said, “Well there’s been a lot to celebrate this past year, too. It wasn’t all bad.” And of course, he is right. There was time for accomplishment, celebration, birth and joy, too. I did not necessarily choose those either, yet they came without my bidding.

Today’s text, Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, feels especially comforting this evening. Time for everything under the sun.

By the time we get through a meal we are often ready to sing the blessing. There are several favorites. More often than not, we sing as we did tonight:

Oh, the Lord’s been good to me.
And so I thank the Lord.
For giving me the things I need.
The sun and rain and the apple seed.
The Lord’s been good to me.
Amen.

Simple attribution doesn’t do justice to the complexity of what happens in life. Or why it happens or even how. Or to God’s role in it. Yet in the simple and sustaining things of life – apple seeds and sunsets, days and nights, seasons in time, the fullness of the earth itself – my heart, like that of my child, turns to thanks. So whatever has come or will find its way into my life in the coming year, I will keep trying to plow thanksgiving back into my heart so that it may not harden or perish. And in time I trust there will be seasons for all of it. Thanks be to God.

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