I woke up with a song playing in my mind, over and over and over. Does that ever happen to you? It is almost relentless and it just keeps playing. I have found that I derive much meaning from book themes, song themes, art themes. They are flashed across my consciousness. Its almost, no, I would say it has become a message I feel I am to receive from God.
We know God is in everything. We know that God finds purpose in all of creation and those things of creation, art included, becomes a way for God to speak to us.
As for the song playing in my mind, its a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950’s. It was first recorded in the year of my birth, 1959. The song was first released with the title of “To Everything There Is a Season,” but later was titled “Turn, Turn, Turn.”
You know the lyrics, they are from the Book of Ecclesiastes, specifically chapter 3, verses 1-8…
“For everything there is a season, and time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and time to die;
a time to plant, and time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and 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 throw away stoned, 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 throw 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.”
I was wakened by storms early in the morning, and that’s when this started playing in my mind. It made me think, we just passed the official start of Summer, the Summer Solstice, and now we are having heavy rains. What a blessing in Texas in the latter part of June to have rain! God seems to know exactly what’s needed and when. The writer of Ecclesiastes had surmised that in his writing of the verses playing in my head. There is a time and a season for everything. And from that I come to understand that whatever season we find ourselves in, its being watched over by God.
There are lots of interpretations that could be applied to this passage of scripture, but when Seeger wrote them in a song, it only had one meaning for him. The song was a plea for world peace. The only words Seeger wrote himself were “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and the closing line, “a time for peace, I swear its not too late.”
As we continue to deal with social unrest and the coronavirus, I am reminded that there is a time and season for everything under heaven. This time is needed for people to turn from hate to love, from sickness to health, from unrest to peace. As we learn more and more about how we need to treat one another, God is in our midst. God is helping us through this season to become more like who God wants us to be…more caring, more gracious, more forgiving, more merciful, more loving. Let us begin to turn from our selfish self-centered ways, let us turn from our hate-filled ways, let us turn from our indifferent ways…let us turn toward a love that can only come from God, a love without exception.
Blessings and Peace,