Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

To Everything There Is a Season

I have always loved the verses of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, and throughout October and November I say them daily. The beautiful words are attributed to Solomon, which isn’t surprising since, according to the Bible, God granted him abundant wisdom. Not Wisdum. Wisdom. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.)
Here is the full text. Try not to sing “turn, turn, turn” after each line. It’s challenging.

To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and
a time to die;
a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up
that which is planted;
A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;
A time to weep, and
a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and
a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and
a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and
a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and
a time to lose;
a time to keep, and
a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and
a time to sow;
a time to keep silence, and
a time to speak;
A time to love, and
a time to hate;
a time of war; and
a time of peace.

  • Larry Parker

    LOL on the “Turn, Turn, Turn.”
    Though for, basically, a sung prayer to become a huge #1 hit in the supposedly G-dless ’60s was hardly the worst thing in the world :-)

  • Wisdum

    Ever wonder why there are no books by Yeshuah/Jesus in the Bible…after ALL this is the supposed Messiah !…Here’s a secrete, there is, and they (2) are very cleverly hidden (maybe more, Wisdom too…not to be confused with Wisdum(b)that’s a Jack*** of a different color, if you catch my drift !). Ecclesiastes, and Ecclesiasticus (known as The Book of Sirac) are those books. Eccleaiasties was not written by Solomon (it is not even in his style !) The catch is “Son of David”…If I asked or said to you “Son of David, have pity on me”, who would I be talking about ? The titles of these books mean Teacher, with a capital “T” … there is only one person in the Bible refered to as Teacher with a capital “T” and that is Yeshuah ! On top of that, right in the prologue of Sirach, it states “I Jesus Son of Sirac” (Sirach means – Lord, and is where the word sir comes from)
    Also the Bible is not in chronological order, it is as if somebody shuffled the books, to prevent someone from using the secrets to benefit themselves. There is also some hint that Melchisedec could to be Yeshuah the “King of Salem” (Salem means Peace) The theologians wanted to take out those two books, because they did not coincide with their agenda theologically…(so, what else is new !)
    The only reason they left Ecclesiasties in was because of that scripture/song ! The Ju’s and Protestants both took Sirach out of the Bible !
    LUV 2 ALL
    not to be confused with Wisdom !

  • Wisdum

    I’m sorry I forgot to throw this in … If you read these books as if Yeshuah/Jesus wrote them, you just may get a Whole different perspective on Christianity and the Christ/Messiah … (and perspective is everything !) … I Love this,in particular from Sirach, “Before ALL things else, Wisdom was created; and prudent understanding, from eternity. To who has Wisdom’s root been revealed? Who knows HER subtleties?” … Did all you guys get that “HER” … Wisdom is a HER ! How’s that work for all you females self-esteem out there ! You Rock, girls !
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Wisdum

    Oooops ! One more thing …In Ecclesiastes the writer states “I Qoheleth-king in Jerusalem (City of Peace/King of Peace) … Qoheleth, also means Teacher … I might as well throw in also the Messiah’s name was Joshuah, pronounced Yeshuah, as the “J” is pronounced as “Y” in Hebrew … Billy Joel is of the Family Yoel
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Margaret Balyeat

    the many books that were deleted from the bible have held a fascination for me ever since I read The DaVinci Code a couple of years ago. I made a point of locatinga copy of Mary’s and Thomas’s book(the “gnostic books” and found myself wondering as I read why they had been deemed “too unimportant ” to include in the bible. Now you’ve inspired me to do the same with Sirach, which, as a Protestant, I’d never heard of bfore today. Thank you! Ecclesiastes has kong been a favorite of mine, and these particular verses top the list along with those declaring vanity and “Nothing new under the sun” I found your comment on solomon’s style to be perceptive and certainly defensible. The Song of Solomon is certainly a different style of prose than is Eclesiastes.

  • Cindy

    Dear Therese,
    Although we have never met, I continue to be amazed at the connection I feel whenever I read what you have written and the content you post on BB.
    I wrote these verses in my journal just last week. They mean a great deal to me and I reference it often when talking with my 13 yr. old son. I’m sure everyone can remember how confusing the world is at that age. I try to remind him that he is still young and has a lot of life yet to live and learn. He is in such a hurry to grow up. So, just as I reference them to remind myself that things will “turn, turn, turn”, :), and all is not lost. I will have good days and bad days. I hope my son will keep repeating them to himself when he is having a difficult time. One day you will break down and one day you will build up. One day my son will laugh, love, and be at peace!
    It was great to open your post and read these this morning.
    Thank you!

  • Frank

    The verses of Ecclestiastes 3 are truly beautiful. A lot of people think the Book of Revelation is difficult to understand. I think they’re right. Its pretty far out in left field for my brain. The descriptions seem sort of psycho. But Ecclestiastes is, on the other hand, a study in contradictions. Was Solomon clinically depressed? Was he jaded by too much of everything? He was suffering; that’s obvious. It makes me tired. Yet, in that bad frame of mind, he still managed to deliver the goods.
    I’m picturing that cat with a toe hold on the clothes line with the caption, Hang in there. Things do change and there’s at least a 50/50 chance it will be for the better.
    Grace and Peace~

  • Suanne Ackerman

    I have many worries concerning my youngest son who is 32 now. He is homeless, jobless and lacks wisdom to prepare for his future years. I have tried to encourage and love him, yet he refuses to listen and apply what I tell him. He is not a bad person, just very lacking in wisdom. He stands aside and lets other people get what he just as much deserves. I have attempted to help him get a leg up by providing a place for him to live while he furthers his education. I had to get the permission of several people to accomplish this and did a lot of leg work and filling out of forms. At the last minute, he rejected the whole idea, saying to me that he did not trust me and thought I had some ulterior motive, which couldn’t be further from the truth. My goal for him is for him to have shelter, a good job that provides good medical coverage, and the security both of those things can provide. I certainly don’t want him living with me for the rest of my life! Because of his attitude, our relationship is very strained. It is very hard to deal with his foolishness, and there are other people whom I believe reinforce his odd behavior. I tell him he should be grateful I am not one of those parents who don’t give a damn about their sons and daughters and has a mother who loves and is concerned about him. It all falls on deaf ears. At this point, I just don’t know what to do. As a Mormon, I believe the entire human race will be saved and in time all of this will be resolved in the most positive way, but the next life is such a long way away and I want this problem behind me now so I can begin enjoying my remaining years. I am 65, and grieving over him casts a pall over my daily existance. I get no calls from him just to chat a little or enquire how I am doing or what is going on in his life. I am beginning to feel jealous of people who are so close to their children. Once, long ago, my son and I were very close, then it all began changing when he was about nine years old and it been deteriorated ever since. It makes me very depressed. The only light I see is in knowing, “This, too, shall pass.” But, still, it seems a very long wait, and in the meantime, his condition is not improving and so much can happen during that long wait and my heart keeps breaking.

  • Deb

    Thank you for sharing this particular passage of Ecclesiastes with me. Just a few days ago, I shared this message of hope with my roommate who has been extremely heartbroken over my actions that landed me in prison for almost two years and huge losses of my “high profile” position, status, income and reputation.
    I recently returned home and learned that I am in a season of recreating myself and relying more on God’s goodness, compassion and forgiveness to form me into the best person I can be. Thank you for helping me strenthen my resolve with these marvelous Biblical words of wisdom.

  • Lynda

    Suanne, I am moved to tears by your post. I am not in the same situation, but many of the feelings you’ve expressed I am going through. I am 55, my youngest son is 19. I found out last week that he plans on moving out of our home and in with a cousin. They have planned this since August and no one said anything to me about it until I found out accidentally from someone ELSE, and I subsequently asked him if what I heard was true.
    Along with this, I’m having a difficult time at my job… I have a new boss and the job I’ve been doing for 2 years (with outstanding annual reviews) I can no longer do properly (that’s what she tells me). Within the past year, 3 of my longest, closest girlfriends have moved away, and December 1, the only other long-time fiend is moving to Montana… we all lived in DC metro area. I know I suffer (at least mildly) from Seasonal Affective Disorder so everything bundled together has me a miserable mess.
    I feel no confidence in myself; I feel no control over my emotions, my thoughts, or my live in general.
    I needed your reminder of “this too shall pass.” It helps me to know there’s at least one other soul out there who’s heart seems to be breaking while waiting.
    God was in charge of your posting this when you did. Right now, “To Everything there is a Season,” is a soul-soothing read for me. It reminds me there is a divine ebb and flow to my life… to all our lives (including our children’s).
    I may be “breaking down” right now, but I believe a time will come for building up, again.
    We are all blessed in knowing we are not, for even a moment, alone.

  • CLeo

    Therese, you are, to me, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Call it coincidence, synchronicity, God’s hand, but everytime I read your column I find help. Thank you and Blessings to you for ever!

  • Arianna

    To (ALL) whom it may concern;
    This is for people everywhere who have or are still going through a rough time… For everything there (truly is) a season.
    For years and years and years….
    I went from being a devoted wife (to a man who didn’t realize what he had – til it was too late) and mother. Then after I got divorced… (as a mom – I was blamed for everything, because I was the one who wanted to leave!) But, I hung in there w/ my daughter teaching her Fair but Consistant Tough Love Methods – also… I told her…
    (That NO MATTER WHAT – I Would Be There For Her and I was –
    there for her – every single day) Now we are Great Friends !!!
    Then I later got married,widowed and being a single mom (to a son) for over 20 yrs. I did (I THINK) an Amazing job on my own and NOW…
    He Is not only A Wonderful,Terrific,Honest,Kind,Romantic, etc. man —
    He Is My Best Friend !
    Well, during all those years…
    I gave up any and ALL hope of ever finding Love again….
    I felt my chance of ever finding someone to – LOVE Me
    after all these years…were slim to none.
    If someone had said to me…that I would be with an Amazing Man, but,
    I just had not met him yet… After Laughing, I would have said…
    Ummmmmmm – I don’t think so – I would have thought, NO WAY,
    So… I just put Everything I had into being the best Mother (Mom) I could to the 2 kids… put my life on hold to Help them and be there for them… well, now, my daughter is Happily married for 5 years and my son is now engaged to a wonderful women who is totally devoted to him and him to her.
    Then a few months back I went on a dating site and after only 1 Month -Miracles of Miracles,I found the Most Amazing Guy – who is Perfect – for ME !
    He is Kind,Honest,Intelligent,Romantic,Compassionate,Caring,Thoughtful,
    Funny,Fun to be with, also My Guy Is A “WONDERFUL Family Type Man” !!
    “I Really Appreciate Him So Much and I FEEL (at 58 yrs) SO BLESSED!!”
    So, for all of you out there who think…It will Never happen To You,
    I am here to tell you…Yes, It Can Happen –
    But, Remember “There is a Season!” (For Everything)
    But, if you do have Faith and Believe in Miracles…
    Dreams Can Come True!
    I AM So Glad,I waited for the change of The Seasons !!
    NOW, IT IS MY (OUR) TURN To Be Happy !

  • Nancy

    Sometimes you have to cut those strings that are attached to our children after they have grown up, even though they don’t seem to be. We as parents have to cut the strings and let our children fly to make their own mistakes,to learn,be stronger,have their own life, and etc. It’s not bad parenting! We as parents have done the very best raising and teaching our children which way to go and they may stray from your teachings for awhile, but they will return to it. I sometimes don’t hear from my children, but I know they have their life just as I do, and as long as I know in my heart that my children love me and I love them and I’ve done my very best,then everything is fine. I don’t won’t to be involved in every detail or thing in my children’s life, I have my own life to deal with, Isn’t that enough to deal with? We never stop loving and helping our children after they are grown,but let them be the one’s that come ask for your help and don’t be afraid to say NO when you can’t, that doesn’t make you a bad parent, it means that you can’t help.We love our children unconditional, just as GOD loves us. I pray for all my children every day and it comforts me knowing that God is helping.
    People that is looking for Love:
    I have been there, done that. I had went through a bad relationship and still loved him after all the bad things he had done to me,but one day I had said enough! I knew in my heart it was time to make a change, so I prayed and ask GOD to send me the perfect partner that is right for me.You are saying to yourself that there is no such perfect partner left; I say yes there is! When you truly are ready for that perfect partner, GOD knows the perfect one and will somehow put that partner in your life. When you meet that perfect partner, it will seem you have known each other all your life and you have been together from day one/forever(in a good way). Sometimes GOD knows that you have to go through somethings before you are ready for your perfect match. Your saying, perfect? When GOD sends your perfect partner, it truly is perfect,because GOD is perfect. Would you like to know how I know about the perfect partner?
    GOD sent me my perfect partner and I thank GOD for him.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for this passage. I have been battling alot with alot of issues in my life and I needed to know how I could deal with it. And I know there is a word from God. The Devil has tried to make me doubt God and I am asking for him to renew my mind. I come home every day to a home alone and I hardly talk to my family and don’t understand how I feel and what I’m really going through. I know God said he’d never leave me nor forsake me. But I feel i’m in this right now alone. Please keep me in your prayers all that read this. God said where one or two are touching and agreeing in my name there I’ll be in the mist.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for these words today. I’m going through some tough times in my life right now dealing with an unfaithful husband and thinking i had found a friend i could talk to and they turned out to be unfaithful to. So i guess i’m going through my season but with Gods help i’m sure i will come out alright.

  • Kim

    “Courage is not the towering oak That sees storms come and go; It is the fragile blossom That opens in the snow.”
    Alice Mackenzie Swaim
    “”When you come to the end of everything you know And are faced with the darkness
    of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen. Either there will
    be something solid for you to stand on, Or you will be taught how to fly.”
    Barbara J. Winter
    Have a safe and joyful weekend.

  • Wisdum

    Re – Margaret Balyeat | November 1, 2007 9:01 AM
    the many books that were deleted from the bible have held a fascination for me ever since I read The DaVinci Code a couple of years ago.
    ** One of the best books, I have read about the books deleted out of “Authorized Scripture’ was The Unauthorized Bible” and it was a revelation to me. The Roman Church never wanted anybody reading the Bible, because they knew they would lose control . . and thanks to Martin Luther, that did happen, We are ALL branches of the same Tree of Life”, and it continues to grow.
    “Everybody knows something,nobody knows everything” (except God !)
    do the same with Sirach,
    When I began a long journey along this Road Called Love, there were many doors I went through. Much of what I know, I stumbled upon, and noticed a lot of stuff out of sync and misconstrued, and twisted semantics, all of which changes what we know about this man we call the Messiah. This is important, Yeshuah, only fulfilled 85% of the prophesies in the Old Testament (and those in Revelation, are all those not fulfilled !) It you are the Chosen, and you have a contract with God … it is 100% or nothing ! The Christian authority/theologians also know this (but they don’t talk about it) That is why they are expecting the “second comming”, which as fare as the House of David/Judah is concerned is the “First Comming” Everytime I go into the Bible, I discover something new ! (Oh yeah, just a hint, it is far easier to get one of the new Bibles, that use everyday English, just like you and I speaking, that Elizebethan terminology, is too confusing !)Bear in mind also that there is a lot of new evidence due to the Dead Sea Scrolls,and other discoveries.
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Bobbie

    I,too, am going through some tough times and after reading some of the above comments my problems seem minor. I have much to be thankful for but I am still troubled by my situation in life. It was comforting to read the above passage from Eccliastises and I will pray for the person who asked for a prayer from us readers. I don’t know your name but I know God will know who I am talking about if I just say the person who posted the comment.
    God bless all of you.

  • Robin

    Hi, I don’t know you but know that you are in my prayers and yes, God will never leave nor forsake you. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Don’t despair that nobody around you understands your feelings or where you are at. God does, think of Jesus when he asked the apostles to stay up with Him and prayer right before Judas betrayed Him and He was put on the cross. “My God, why have you forsakken me?” Please sweet soul, KNOW that God hasn’t left nor forsaken you. Remember the poem ‘Footprints in the Sand’? He is carrying you now. And through this site YOU reached out for a hand someone to hear you, feel you, see your pain. I have so been there! Not that saying that helps you, just hold on. Keep going. Suit up and show up. On days when it seems the darkest and you just want to stay in the warmth of your bed with the blankets over your head and eyes closed, allow yourself a set time to be ‘there’ for a moment, then MOVE!!! Get out of bed. Take a shower. Have your coffee (or whatever you prefer), GET DRESSED! Often, pushing yourself past that feeling of complete utter exhaustion and feelings like what is the use and many other darker thoughts. Baby steps, but definitely steps! And if your not talking to a counselor, look into it. If you think you can’t afford it, there are many free counsellors around. Yes love, this will required work. But you are so worth it! God has a plan for you! For everything there is a season, this is yours. I’m not sure if it does any good to question why, maybe it’s good enough just to know that it is and then think about what you can do about it. Think to yourself, do you want to stay in that dark, cold and ever so lonely place where you can reach no one and there isn’t anyone that can reach you? Ask yourself this. Then move. It’s so good that you are praying and know that after today, many of us will be praying for you. You are much loved!
    Sign me,
    Out of the Dark at Last.

  • Betty J. Lanzer

    Thank you for reminding me of these verses. They will help in my counseling for a lady in our Church.

  • lydia simpson

    this is and always has been one of my favorite Bible-related poems—-it has so very much truth in it and is a good guide for anyone!!!

  • Wisdum

    RE – Suanne Ackerman | November 1, 2007 1:01 PM
    He is homeless, jobless and lacks wisdom to prepare for his future years.
    ** We ALL lack wisdom ! The only thing that wisdom is, is the passing on of experience of all the crap in your Life, so it may help another (especially your progeny !) By the Way there is a Whole lot of Wisdom in the Bible, but most of us never go there for it, until we are scraping the bottom of the barrel !
    yet he refuses to listen and apply what I tell him.
    ** This is more of “Strong Willed Child Syndrome” . . . I want to make my own dam mistakes, If you are so smart, you wouldn’t have made any yourself !
    I have attempted to help him get a leg up by providing a place for him to live while he furthers his education.
    ** The only thing you can give a strong willed child is Uncompromising, Unconditional Love (no matter what !) enabling does not count as Love (especially in their book, to them, you are stupid, and they would be also, not to take advantage of it !)
    he did not trust me and thought I had some ulterior motive
    ** The ulterior motive is “Control Issues”. This is all about leaving the nest, and empty nest syndrome
    I certainly don’t want him living with me for the rest of my life!
    ** Now that’s what is called Mother Nature Syndrome, like, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your Way out !”
    It all falls on deaf ears.
    ** Typical symptoms !
    I am beginning to feel jealous of people who are so close to their children.
    ** Don’t be fooled, they are ALL going through the same problem . . the Bible refers to it as “Tribulation” … Hey,what the hell, we ALL got Armegeddon to look forward too !
    Che sera, sera ! (or something like that !)
    LUV 2 U / LUV 2 ALL
    just another sojourner along this
    Road Called Love

  • Margaret Balyeat

    If this brings you any solace, know that I went through similar “tribulation with my son. throughout his teen years, e was very angry and since it was only the two of us after his father died and his stepfather left us to be with another woman (both within a six-month period, I bore the brunt of his anger. I could do NOTHING right.He dropped out of junior college even though I had to scrape to pull together the funds for his tuition. but guess WHAT? nOW AR TWENTY-NINE, WE ARE GOOD FRIENDS! He has apologized several times for the things he put us through, and even though I can, he can’t look back on that period with a chucle; he’s mortified when he realizes how ungrateful, disrespectful and selfish he was! Bur guess WHAT? we are now close to the point that many of his friends envy the relationship we now have. He hholds down a good job, supports himself and even contributes to my monthly expenses now that I’m on retirement/disability. Although geographically we’re nearly fifty miles apart, very few days go by without him calling to check on his old Mom! There IS hope…we’re living proof! It’s absolutely amazing what a little time and a few kicks in the teeth ny life can accomplish! If you give it some time and lots of prayer WITHOUT GIVING UP, your situarion might turn out with a similar happy ending. I too will be including you in my conversarions with God.

  • Larry Parker

    Everything you said about your son could be said of me — if you choose to put all the facts of my life in the worst possible light.
    I choose not to.
    Now, you may not have shared important details of your son’s life that may make it a very different situation. But from what you said, IMHO, unless your son has threatened you or otherwise cut himself completely and permanently off from you in some way, I would say it is important to remain optimistic — for his sake, but also for your own.

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