Today as I (finally) took down the ornaments from our Christmas tree, I was reminded of this passage from Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 (if you know The Byrds version, sing along!).
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
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,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.
Now how in the world did a pile of Christmas ornaments remind me of this passage, you ask? Well, let me tell you. As I looked at this pile of colorful ornaments, I had the thought, Didn't I just do this? Didn't I just put these away? A whole year has gone by? Really?! And it hit me just how much of our years follow a certain rhythm. You could say..."There is a time to put up Christmas decorations and a time to take them down. Followed by a time for a groundhog to see his shadow and a time for him to proclaim spring is coming early. A time to enjoy spring break and a time to return back to school. A time for swimming in the summer sun and a time for for wearing jackets. A time for a Thanksgiving meal and a time to regret eating so much. Then it's time for the Christmas decorations again!"
I like that our years have a certain predictability to them. There is comfort in the familiar and traditional things of our lives. But then I also love that each year throws in enough surprises and curve balls to keep us on our toes. I don't know how looking at a pile of ornaments inspired such deep thoughts today, but for some reason it did. I'm excited for both the comfortable rhythms and the surprises God has in store for our family this year!