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. What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.
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, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I am incredibly grateful for the chance to spend Mondays at home with my 20-month old daughter. In between excursions to the library and playground, however, I’m usually trying to get the grocery shopping, laundry and other household chores done before the start of my workweek. This past Monday, I was cleaning up the kitchen while my daughter finished lunch when I heard the sweetest invitation: “Sit down, mama! Sit down!” I looked over at her high chair and she was pointing to the seat next to her. Her sweet bidding reminded me that this season will only last so long. Be present to it.
God invites us in a variety of ways all day long, which is why having a practice like the Examen prayer is so important in order to recognize them. Whatever today has in store for you: pain and sadness or celebration and joy, trust that God is in this particular season of your life. What’s the invitation for you today?
—Sarah Otto is a Retreat and Program Director at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, GA.
God of surprises, open my eyes to the many and varied ways you are inviting me to grow closer to you today. Help me to recognize the gifts and graces present during this season of my life.