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Mind The Gap

May 24, 2011

Regardless of your background…whether you are coming from a background of faith, or a completely atheistic worldview…you cannot help but notice that there is a natural order to things in this world.  There’s a timing…a season…even a method that when followed…things work.  So listen, I’m not a farmer…I don’t even have a garden…but I know that there are certain times of the year that you plant particular crops.  So, if you plant corn in the right season, in the right climate, in the right order, it grows…but if you plant in the wrong season…it doesn’t.  These things aren’t debatable…they are set in the fabric of our existence.

 Take a moment and read through Ecclesiastes 3:1-15…you’ve heard it sung before.

 The first eight verses of this chapter aren’t real complicated.  It’s just saying that there is a time and a season for everything.  And listen…this is not a list of good vs. evil.  This is not a yin yang version of reality despite the world’s best efforts to make it that.  This is the natural order.  There will be a time to laugh…there will be a time to cry.  There is a time for love and there is a time for hate…the problem is not that both seasons exist…the problem is that we can’t seem to get the season right.  We’re always messing it up.  There’s always that guy who laughs while the widow and the family are weeping.  There’s the spouses who just can’t keep silent…they just have to get the last word in…and listen…nobody ever thinks it is them.  And in that moment, what we reveal about ourselves is not just that we live in a fallen world…but that we, ourselves, are fallen…broken…and out of sync with the way things were intended to be.

 Some people have called this the “Gap of Eternity.”  Because what Solomon is going to say down in verse 11, is that God, not just an ambiguous deity…but God “Has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart.”  Do you see that?  It’s incredibly important because everyone…every single person…will agree that these seasons are written into the fabric of existence…that they are undeniable based on tangible observation…we just have a culture that refuses to recognize the Author of existence.  You see, there is a way that things should be…we just don’t get to experience very often.  We’re the clown who can’t be silent…we’re the guy who refuses the embrace…even when we really need it.  Our life under the sun offers a shadow of what God intended.  It’s life on the ground vs. life at 30,000 feet.  That’s why there is a longing for something else…something better…something right. 

 What we have in our lives today, is a colliding of what we know to be…and what we know ought to be.  Verses 12-13 are going to say that there should be joy in eating in drinking…that there is a joy found in doing a good work and receiving the reward for it.  It even says that this is, “God’s gift to man.”  You work…you receive a reward.  The collision is that we turn that reward into an ultimate.  It becomes our greatest desire.  We sacrifice family, we sacrifice relationships, we give up on dreams…all for the sake of a greater reward…we take something that was meant to bring joy…and it becomes a burden…effectively, we mess up the seasons.  We do this with food, with friends, with sex, and with wine…just pick a part of life.  And Solomon says in verse 15 that this is how it has always been with mankind.  But listen…eternity is coming…everything will be made beautiful in its time.  God hasn’t given man over to its iniquities…He has written eternity on our hearts…that it might point us to Him…and that’s His grace to us.

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