In Everything, There is a Time
Updated: Aug 5, 2020
My dear readers – This week my friends were rich with wisdom and insight. Although you may never know them personally, I am delighted to share the gifts they gave this week. The majority of this post was taken from things they spoke to me, or personal thoughts inspired by their words. Thank you for “joy-ning” me in relishing their wisdom.
In everything, there is a time; a time to tear down what doesn’t work, a time to build something new. But in everything, God makes it beautiful in his time. And everything he does, lasts forever. (Ecc. 3.1, 3, 11, & 14)
The discussion concerned growing coffee. My Kenyan friend was describing the toil of the process. Upon revealing how happy I am not to be reliant on my very inadequate ability to grow my own coffee… or any food for that matter (this is one of my glaring imperfections). This friend’s response had a profound effect on me. God has a purpose for us all, a purpose that compliments one another. It is the uniqueness of our unique sameness that enables us to complement one another rather than walk through this life with lopsided abilities as a human race. It is our imperfections that make room for another’s strengths, a humble understanding of our need for others. We are not all farmers, for who would repair the machinery? We are not all engineers or mechanics, for who would help us heal? We are not all nurses and doctors, for who would pass our knowledge to the next generation? Teachers, mathematicians, musicians…… each one of God’s character traits uniquely in each of us, adds to a beautiful whole, 1 human race. An amazing web of interconnectedness that is beyond comprehension and miraculously needs our imperfections in order to thrive.
The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated the interconnectedness of our world similar to how dew reveals the strings of a spider’s web where it wasn’t initially obvious. Suddenly, we more tangibly see the affect we have on others, next door, in the next state, and around the world. Our imperfect state is actually an interdependence upon one another, either recognized or not. Similar to the way I need others to grow my food, others need my unique qualities. Oh the grace and understanding this breeds in my heart; not one better than the other, but all providing different strengths. (1 Cor. 12.15-26)
But the interconnected dependence upon one another goes even deeper. Consider the oncologist, treating a patient’s cancer. He may present wonderful expertise, advice and support through this patient’s treatment, but those unique abilities do nothing to prevent that doctor’s need for those same things from someone else should he/she succumb to the same disease. To everything, there is a time. (Ecc 3) Our interdependence is not only dependent on our current strengths, but also on the changing tides of our abilities. This aspect of our interdependence breeds patience, sometimes painfully gained! Not always will I be inept, but also, not always will I be capable. In everything, there is a time, and because of our interconnectedness, in everything there is the possibility of beauty, harmony and peace.
There is no big man or small man in the eyes of the Lord. The food of the president comes from the farmer. But the president will not always be the president. As we live at the mercy of our unjust world, we can also recognize our God-given power in the interconnected dependence we have upon one another. Our unique sameness flows in and through us whether we recognize it or not. As we live in greater understanding of our power and our vulnerability in this ordained web of interconnectedness, inconceivable displays of beauty will be revealed, of which we only now dream. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart […]” (Ecc 3.11) In recognizing that We Are Uniquely The Same™,  we are dreaming and working towards that beauty. When our unique sameness is recognized, we cannot help but also ensure that Everyone Gets The Love. 
My prayer is for humility, grace, gratitude, and patience. Perhaps I should really praise you for our imperfections. Imperfections give the opportunity to rely on other, to grow, the humility to reconcile, the strength for repentance, the gratefulness for every opportunity to live in my strengths. Whether I find success or failure, imperfections make room for me to love the journey, to wait patiently through my ineptitude, and to withstand the pain of introspection; daily taking steps toward change. My prayer is that I learn from the past and dream of the future, garnishing from the behaviors I've committed, and the behaviors committed against me. My prayer is that I am transformed, daily, beginning with my internal world, and then radiating to the external one with the products of my transformation.  My prayer is that I humbly accept my imperfections as a beautifully perfect interconnectedness on this journey toward love and oneness.
1. TsDSeason2BJolly. TURN! TURN! TURN! (Lyrics) - THE BYRDS. YouTube, 2012. Video. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKP4cfU28vM.
2. Anonymous, Personal Communication, 2020
3. Mission1Race, . "Our Story." Mission1Race. https://www.mission1race.org/our-story.
4. Anonymous(2), Personal Communication, 2020
5. Picture Credit: Ecc. 3.1, 11 Word Image created through the YouVersion Bible app. YouVersion. Last modified , 2020.