What can the wisdom of Solomon tell us about time and life?

“There is a time for sowing and a time for reaping, a time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.” – (Solomon, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

This psalm from Solomon is perhaps the greatest quote on time ever. It is undeniably recognized the world over for its profound wisdom. It reflects a world where everything has a place and a purpose and the role of time is an overarching foundation for the purpose of life. Today we weep for a lost friend or spouse, tomorrow we rejoice over a marriage or birth. Today we fight a war for justice and tomorrow we negotiate for peace.

We think we control time. We believe that we control life and even our own destinies. The reality is that we have control over some things and some (perhaps the vast majority) we do not. Solomon’s wisdom counsels us to accept the ups and downs of life. It speaks to life as a flow wherein everything has its place. It counsels us to develop our own wisdom as we progress through life and face its inevitable joys and sorrows. Do not be saddened by the burdens of life, for tomorrow is always a new day and it will bring new times and new opportunities. You have as much to be optimistic over as you do pessimistic. Optimistic people are happier and live longer.

We may not always be able to control time but we can always choose how we want to spend our time. We choose our attitudes and we chose the meaning of time to us at any given moment. I can decide to do what I think is important today or I can spend my day in trivial pursuits. I can work today to make the world a better place or I can bemoan the lack of good TV programs and its excessive commercialism. Some days I will be successful and others I will not be in controlling my time. Perhaps today is a time for failure and tomorrow will be a new opportunity.

What is your time for today? Life is often a series of cycles, do you live and accept your cycles or do you try to force your time according to some schedule? Do you accept the ups and downs of life? What downs are the most difficult for you to accept?

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