Everything Has It’s Time!


Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Everything Has Its Time

“3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what 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 throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

The God-Given Task

What gain have the workers from their toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. 11 He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. “

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

There is a time and place for everything in life.We are born, we live, we grow up screaming and protesting, and we scream and protest all of our life looking for meaning and purpose and a place to be and live in comfort.

In looking at our own life we have lived the life our parents dreamed of, but just in a different way. They raised us to go to college, to graduate school, and be a professional, and that is what we have done and am. Life has thrown it’s curves, and we have simply walked around them  and frankly have done what our parents would have wanted. My parents were proud of our  call to ministry it was a dream come true to have a son serve the church, and dreamed of us serving in a large church and even be a bishop,  but would have been just as proud of the work we do now, serving in the greater parish of the streets, and being a bishop on the margins.  Life sends its curves, we adjust, we grow or we wither an die. From grapefruit we make orange juice. Our parents were good parents who believed in us and raised us to live our dream.

People look at the way we live and either joke about it or praise our  choice of simplicity, and our  sacrifice. The truth is our parents lived in a small house, drove used cars, gave most of their money away, traveled, and enjoyed life–we came by that from them. It is our call, but a call that we inherited. Like them when we travel we stay in good motels and hotels, eat at great restaurants, and have fun, but live simply and give most of our earnings away. We have had the best medical treatment that money can buy in the past months. Even the time we were  on the street we made good money, (illegally), and lived well. Over all we have lived a productive life–if you see living as a capitalist as productive.

In the past months as we have seen homelessness increase–with no real help–have met doctors, lawyers, all kinds of professionals, who are homeless because of mental illness, and so on, and see so many who are where they are because of an economy that rewards people  who play the corporate game, and shuns people who do not fit into the places they are expected to, and those who have suffered abuse from poverty, drug use, and  we have come to understand the words of Jesus throughout the Gospel which is proclaimed to the disenfranchised, and while we find hope in those words, also live in a sense of despair. They do not bear fruit, people suffer, live in poverty, mental illness, on the streets. Sometimes those words  seem like the “opium of the masses.” Believing that ultimately the reign of God will be fulfilled, seems really like living a lie, frankly it seems like bull-sh’t.  It is kind of hard to look to fulfillment in the reign of God when that seems endless. People suffer, and hurt now.

In the last year we have suffered a sense of despair in people. Social media brings out the worst, the racism, the disconnected, the homophobia, the lack of being connected. and the pain and futility of loneliness. There is a lack of being connective, and we see that in those who have money, and power. We hear over and over from good people they have few real friends, while they have money, a great place to live, but it gives no meaning, no purpose, they remain empty. We see people with everything materially commit suicide. It is real despair, real pain and suffering from not having friends who care, and can  talk to. Not having meaning in life.

Dom Augustine Guillerand once wrote: “God will know how to draw glory even from our faults. Not to be downcast after committing a fault is one of the marks of true sanctity.”

We hope this is true, because we are judged by our  faults, little things, without even talking to us. It is endless.
We are sent text messages, Face book messages, and so on, and am reprimanded, and put down, when the majority of the time we are misread, or people do not know the context. This is endless some days, to the point we do not look at emails, or read texts.

When we talk to someone verbally context and understanding comes some much easier, we get bits and pieces by email and texts. One of our friends has told us that he has learned that one ‘fault” does away with all the good, and in truth it does. We know nothing about redemption.  There is an “I funny” comic that says: “Forgiveness is like tofu,” and it is. We see forgiveness as weakness, we demand perfection out of everyone, and when that fails we turn away people and move on failing to look at the log  in our own eye as we see the spot in our neighbor’s eye.

As Jesus taught us forgiveness is the key to being human, to opening our hearts to one another, to caring for one another, and providing for one another. Without forgiveness we are back to our early evolutionary stages.

We  have people on death row, serving life sentences, and shorter sentences, and people who have hurt others deeply, that we share the Guillerand quote with, for in all of our faults there is hope as we can  turn towards good and care for others. It may take years, but there is the hope of redemption and new life.

There is always hope.  We believe that with all of our heart–otherwise we would not say it, and we take the crap and hatred for saying it.

Personally we are in the  twilight zone. We have done our best, and the question is what else is there? Why keep on trying?   Why keep on struggling?

And the words of I Corinthians sum up what holds us at the moment, and will hold us  into eternity:

8″ Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly,[b] but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

Fr.River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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