Monday, August 18, 2008

Work vs. Play

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, at time to mourn and a time to dance," Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

This bit of wisdom from the author (Solomon) is among a book that shares the valuable lesson that many of us fail to learn for most of our lives: if you're looking to be satisfied by material things in this're setting yourself up for disappointment- "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?" (Eccl. 1:2-3) This is the main message that Solomon is trying to convey in Ecclesiastes, but that's not what I want to focus on.

I'd rather talk about changing seasons. This is the time of the calendar year when many of our lives change. School is about to begin- summer's over, some are starting in new schools, some are starting new lives away from home, some are starting new jobs...this list goes on.

This is true for our youth group. During the year, we have a fairly regular schedule, but this changes during the summer- with mission trips, mystery trips, church camp, and VBS, it's difficult to fit much else in... We've had a lot of fun, made new friends, strengthened existing relationships, and grown closer to each other through fun activities. But all that is about to change. We're about to get back into our regular schedule.

While some may resist change (especially when it's change from fun and travel) we often forget that it's during the times when we are challenged that we grow the most. This year we'll discuss things that might challenge our faith, we'll experience situations that are more difficult than anything we've ever known, and through it all, we will grow closer to God. Solomon knew that everything in life had it's place, and that there are definite seasons in life. Change is much easier to deal with when we stop resisting it and accept it as an inevitability that might actually benefit us in our relationship with God and our relationships with others.

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