|Series Theme: Bible Study Approaches|
Title: 25. Writing your own Meditations
- Ecclesiastes 3:1,2
Sometimes the meaning of a Scripture verse seems obvious, but for some parts of the Scriptures, if we will meditate on the meaning, we find there is a whole wealth of profound meaning there.
In the example that follows, we have taken just a part of a well-known passage from Ecclesiastes 3 and allowed some thoughts to flow from the verses.
We have only covered the first two verses of that chapter and invite you to meditate on the verses that follow on.
Again, please understand, that this is not a translation of the verse, merely the contemplative thoughts of one Christian.
The Example - Ecclesiastes 3:1,2
1 There is a time for everything,
It seems like things fit – in time. There are right times for things to happen, and wrong times, right times to say things… and wrong times.
and a season for every activity under heaven:
Things ‘fit' like in the seasons.
In Winter there are few leaves on the trees, in Spring buds appear, in Summer they burst forth into flowers and leaves, and in Autumn, the flowers have gone and the leaves are turning a multitude of different colours before they fall.
So there are times or seasons for all things, times when they ‘fit' into that point of history, following what has just been and preparing the way for what will soon come.
Lord, thank You that where I am at this moment in history is no accident – I am here because of what has gone before, yet at this moment I have the possibility of choice and therefore what will follow will, in some measure, be determined by me. The choices before me are endless. Help me to be wise in deciding my path.
2 a time to be born……
We take the coming of life so much for granted. The woman conceives and nine months later the child enters this world. If the child comes earlier, there are difficulties. Nine months is the right ‘time'.
There is also a right child-bearing age. At ten a girl may be capable of conceiving but emotionally and socially, she is normally not ready. At fifty a woman may still be able to conceive but the probability of difficulties is now greater.
To bear a child in loneliness or in poverty is not a ‘good time' as the world sees it, yet even when that does happen, there is a possibility of wonder and beauty and greatness that is not to be scorned by the circumstances.
A bad time can be redeemed and transformed. There is always hope.
Lord, in my parents' eyes the time of my birth might have been bad, but I know that with You, my life is precious, special, unique, holding such potential, capable of bringing such joy and happiness into this Your world. Thank You for the wonder of the life that is me.
…..and a time to die,
In our society today we have such mixed messages about death.
In films and TV programmes we send people to violent deaths by their hundred. Moves are afoot to enable people to commit voluntary euthanasia legally.
It seems on one hand we are quite happy to face death, yet that is far from the truth! We do everything possible to keep people alive. We have TV programmes that exult in crisis medicine keeping accident victims alive.
We have managed to prolong life so many more are living to older years, but many of those, it seems, are merely being kept breathing and their quality of existence demeans them.
We are in fact. afraid of death because most of us don't believe in the wonder of heaven or the terror of hell. If we lived in a secure relationship with the living God, then we would be able to see death as simply a natural transition from life on earth to life in heaven. Yes, a separation for those left behind, a separation that creates a sense of loss, but only a temporary separation. But that's not how it is with most of us. Instead we fear death and try to stave it off unnaturally.
Lord, help us to see that death is not to be feared for those who can be rightly related to you through Jesus Christ, but simply a transition to something far more wonderful than anything we might have known here. Help us please, to allow our loved ones to pass on at the due time. Be the comfort you promise to be when we are temporarily separated from them. Help us not to fear death.
a time to plant…..
We don't realise it much of the time, but we are locked into time and seasons.
Different plants grow and germinate at different times of the year; they need different temperatures, different amounts of sunlight, and without the right amount, nothing happens. The planter needs to catch the right 'season'.
More than that, try planting seed on dry hard ground and not much happens. The ground needs preparing. The time for planting is after the ground preparation is done.
Try planting before you've removed the weeds and the weeds stifle the new plants. The time for planting is after the weeds have been removed. There is much to be learnt about planting.
Lord, help me to be wise as when to plant – the right time, after clearing the weeds, after breaking up the ground – help me to know when to speak and sow new ideas, help me understand what is going on in the world around me so that I may learn to determine when to start off new projects (plant them), to catch the right time.
…..and a time to uproot,
Dandelions can be a curse! They lurk in the grass and look so inoffensive, but then the sun comes out and later in the day yellow flowers are there, so soon to be followed by the seed heads, and once they scatter…..!
The time for rooting out weeds can be as soon as you spot them, to avoid the creation of seed heads that create havoc! However, sometimes it's better to leave them to grow a bit more so when you pull them up, the whole root comes with it and not just the top. It does need wisdom to know when to act against weeds.
Jesus said unrighteous people are like weeds in his world, and he leaves them living alongside the righteous people until the end harvest, then he will deal with them.
I need to learn to be wise as to when to deal with and uproot problem areas in my life.
Lord, help me to learn the right time to deal with the weeds of life, a time when they can be removed completely and not just in bits. Help me to not leave things until they ‘go to seed' and so create a fallout that causes even more trouble.