Did you know Apple released the first iPhone on June 29, 2007? Over the last two quarters of that year, about 1.4 million iPhones (units not dollars) were sold. By the end of 2015, only 8.5 years later, Apple had annual iPhone unit sales of more than 230 million. Isn’t it absolutely crazy to think sales went from 0 to 230 million, and the iPhone went from a luxury to a mainstream device, in less than a decade? Ten years ago, would you have ever dreamt you would be carrying ONE device that provides access to a wealth of information, can take and store pictures, can translate your speech into text messages, can track your heart rate, can pay for your groceries, and so much more…in your pocket?
This storyline isn’t unique to the 21st century. Between 1908 and 1927, the development and adoption of Ford’s Model T car illustrated the same point – this world changes at a rapid pace. It can, at times, be a little overwhelming. (Just ask those connected to Kodak and Blockbuster, two great companies who couldn’t change fast enough to stay in business.)
I contrast the story of frenzied technological change, which we experience every day, to the words of truth recorded in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. This passage naturally stirs my heart. Maybe because I hear it most often at funerals. Read it aloud, do you feel a sense of calm and comfort? The rhythm, “a time to… and a time to… a time to… and a time to…” is soothing as Solomon takes the reader on a poetic journey through a range of life’s activities.
1For 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 cast 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 cast 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.
The sense of comfort, however, comes from something more impactful than poetic patterns or meters. It comes from the foundational truth that God is sovereign, meaning he has supreme power or authority. Solomon begins chapter 3 by reminding us that there is a season or time for EVERYTHING. Notice verses 2-8 don’t just list good things. They talk about death, weeping, mourning and hatred as well as life, laughing, dancing and love. All these things, both good and bad, exist in this world. God uses his supreme power and authority to work ALL of them together to accomplish his purpose. Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He has made everything beautiful in its time.
The first verse and chorus of Colton Dixon’s song Through All of It provide a comforting reminder that He is our God through all life’s seasons, both good and bad.
There are days I’ve taken more than I can give. And there are choices that I made, that I wouldn’t make again. I’ve had my share of laughter, of tears and troubled times. This is has been the story of my life.
I have won, and I have lost. I got it right sometimes, but sometimes I did not. Life’s been a journey, I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret. Oh and You have been my God through all of it.