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Read:   Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

   1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:  2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

“A stitch in time, saves nine.” And, “Haste makes waste”

“He who hesitates is lost.” And, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

“Many hands make light work.” And, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

These are all wise proverbs.  Yet, for each truth, there is an important counter truth.

Each of these proverbs is wise and true in its season, and each of these proverbs would be folly- out of its season.  Context is so very important.

So, how do we know what “season” it is, and which principle of wisdom applies?  Great question.  It has to do with discernment.  Discernment is the process of thoughtful reflection.  Does it involve prayer?  Yes, but not always in the sense that most of us think of prayer.  Prayer, in the broadest sense, is an openness to the Holy Spirit.  Paul taught that Christians should “pray without ceasing” (1Thessalonians 5:17); Paul wasn’t talking about: eyes closed, knees bent, and hands folded.  Prayer in a broader sense is an ongoing openness to the Holy Spirit.  So, yes, prayer is always part of that process.  Discernment is how we determine a wise path forward.

Remember Proverbs 4:7?  “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever else you get, get insight.”   Some translations refer to “insight” as “understanding”.  Either way we’re talking about discernment.  It is not enough to memorize wise sayings and proverbs, we need to understand how to apply them, in order to have the best chance at charting a path of wisdom.  Seek wisdom!

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom