The thing that has been is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: there is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9
This is the time of year to clean out the basement, swap the winter wardrobe for summer duds, and get the yard and garden beds set for summer. It’s also the last few weeks of the school year and the return of summer jobs, weekend traffic, and lots of Cape Cod tourists. All these things happen every year, and they’ve been happening around me for decades. The Teacher was right when he wrote there is no new thing under the sun. He was also terribly wrong.
There are seasons and patterns that structure my world. These are reliable, a renewable and dependable foundation that holds my days as I walk this earth. At the same time, it is impossible to repeat anything because everything is in constant motion – planets spin, galaxies are born and die, every living thing moves in one temporal direction. I get second chances to love, to serve, to seek joy or wallow in pain; I cannot go back in time to change decisions and actions. Renewal, transformation, continuation – each surfaces in the unique instances that move from my present into my memory. If I am humble and quiet, I see the grace of each day and give thanks; if I am distracted and forgetful, I can’t see beyond my own immediate wants and needs.
But those thoughts aren’t really that important today. Returning books to the library, I saw a newborn in his mother’s arms. The sage in the corner garden is covered with more buds than I’ve ever seen. My son and I saw seagulls hovering in front of us – a miracle of aviation for the price of some stale bread.
I am so glad that there is no new thing under the sun – there’s so much wonder already.
I’m so glad that everything is happening for the first and only time – today is a once in a lifetime experience.
Thank you for the world so sweet, Lord. Amen
Photo by Jared Fredrickson