We are currently in a series on the book of Ecclesiastes. Written by Solomon, Ecclesiastes warns us not to waste our lives on worthless things. The word “time” is used at least 31 times in chapter 3. Regardless of how young, old, rich, or poor we are, we all have the same amount of time in a day. In Genesis, God said, “Let us make man in our image.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit made us body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). You will have the time of your life if you take care of yourself, but the reverse is also true. You will miss the time of your life if you do not make time to take care of your body, soul, and spirit. This book uses a writing style of sarcasm and pessimism. Keeping the same tone as the book is written, I want to answer the question today of “How Do I Miss the Time of My Life?”
Neglect Your Body
Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 says, “There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build.” Solomon is reflecting here on the appointed times between birth and death. Planting has to do with food. The farmer has to cooperate with the seasons to get a crop. Killing and tearing down here are not referring to war, but to the health of the body. Cancer cells must be killed for there to be healing. We build up our bodies and our immune systems, and there are times they break down. We can push too hard. If you want to miss the time of your life, work all the time and never rest. God gave His people the Sabbath day not the Sabbath hour! He gave them “holy” days, or holidays. There should be a certain rhythm, cycle, and balance to life. You can enjoy life and see it as a gift or endure it and see it as a grind. Outlook often determines outcome. You don’t have to, you get to. If you want to have the time of your life, remember as a child of God your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship (Rom. 12:1).
Neglect Your Soul
Solomon continues, “a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing” (v. 4-5). There is a time to cry. The shortest verse in the Bible is, “Jesus wept.” We also need to laugh. A merry heart does good like a medicine (Prov. 17:22). One day, God will wipe every tear from our eyes, but here now under the sun, we laugh and we cry. There is also a time to mourn and grieve, and a time to dance and to celebrate. Life is made up of weddings and funerals. There is a time to hug and a time to refrain. Life is one big rollercoaster ride of emotions: anger, joy, and sorrow. Let the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7). Guard against negativity, a bad attitude, peer pressure, entitlement, comparison, discontentment, skepticism, criticism, cynicism, unforgiveness, and a root of bitterness. If you want to miss the time of your life, neglect your soul.
Neglect Your Spirit
In verses 6-8, Solomon talks about the spirit. A time to search, count as lost, keep, throw away, tear, sew, speak, be silent, love, hate, war, and peace. When I think about searching, I think about all the hours we spend looking for our keys, phone, wallet, etc. But I also think about drownings at the beach. There is a time to search and a time to call off the search. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. We are here for those who are not yet here. Now is the time to search. There is coming a day when the search will be called off and those who have not trusted Jesus will be counted as lost. When it comes to keeping and throwing away, we need to lay up treasure in heaven. We need to get some junk out of our lives spiritually. When it comes to our words, remember that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). God is love. We should love what He loves and hate what He hates. There is also a time to fight. Peter Muhlenberg was an Anglican pastor who read Ecclesiastes 3 and said, “There is a time to preach, a time to pray, but there is also a time to fight and that time has now come.” He joined George Washington’s army in 1774, and because of men like him, American has become the land of the free and the home of the brave.
You will miss the time of your life if you do not embrace every season – winter, spring, summer, and fall. Verses 11-12 say, “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life.” When you try to control everything in life, you are going to be miserable. Life happens, good and bad. If you are looking for the meaning of life in life you will miss the time of your life. The only way life under the sun makes since is when you put it in perspective with life above the sun. You were made and exist for Someone other than yourself. There is a purpose for everything that God permits. Don’t waste your season and don’t neglect your body, soul, and spirit. Then you will be able to have the time of your life. Robert J. Morgan, From this Verse, Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 1998.