A time for everything
Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 8
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
8 A time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
This is my most favourite verse in the bible because I believe that these words can be used to reflect every single day of our lives.
The verse that I particularly reflect on is: ‘A time for war and a time for peace’.
My husband and I were extremely fortunate to go to New York on our honeymoon. People say that New York is the city that never sleeps and from the moment we landed at JFK airport we learnt exactly that. Once we’d had our fingerprints taken and our passports checked at least 3 times we were there. That is, once my husband had had every inch of his suitcase searched and had finally found his lost and petrified wife amongst a sea of yellow cabs.
It was a city of chaos, every street leading to a hundred new ones, people rushing around. Sirens, car horns, police with guns. You name it, it was happening and I loved every single minute of it.
Due to jetlag we found ourselves asleep most night by 9pm. This meant that by 5am I was wide awake watching the city out of my hotel window, even at this early hour, still completely buzzing.
For almost six months we had waited for our holiday of a lifetime. I had put as much planning into this trip as I had my actual wedding. We visited every tourist attraction; the hours spent patiently queuing for each one had been worth it. We walked for miles and miles each day, crossing the roads that were a constant stream of never ending traffic. We occasionally treated ourselves to a yellow cab that weaved between the vast traffic at high speeds. Living in a small town in England meant that this hectic ambience was not one we were used to. This mind-blowing city had truly captivated us.
New York had captured our hearts and we often wondered what life would be like back in our small, unruffled town after experiencing such a majestic and grandeur place.
On our last day, we found ourselves in Central Park. We walked hand in hand, taking pictures of the park in its spring time glory, we stopped to watch people; resting, reading, skating, all at a pace much slower than we had experienced in previous days. The serenity overwhelmed us, if we could have frozen a moment in time this would have been it.
We took a horse and carriage ride, covering ourselves with a blanket to keep the cold spring breeze at bay. We sat back unperturbed in this moment of pure tranquillity. It was in that instant that I realised the contrast between this moment and all the others. We were still in the city that never sleeps but we were surrounded by complete serenity. The buzz of the city, nothing but a distant blur, so far off that at times it would have been easy to forget where we even was. It was empowering to find that this animated city had hidden within it a place of stillness; a place of peace.
I find in our everyday lives we often come across that very same thing. Sometimes life can become a hectic stream of events. We can become so absorbed in the busyness of it all that we never take the time to stop.
I believe the words; ‘a time for war’ expresses just that. It represents a time of chaos, when every day can feel like a battle and a struggle. There is a time for that but there also has to be a time for peace.
I find that peace when I dwell in God’s spirit; when I spend time in prayer or in quiet reflection; just simply being in His presence.
Everybody deserves that Central Park moment; where nothing but peace prevails.
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