I started thinking about this a few days ago, but really it has been months now. How often do we read the Ecclesiastes Chapter 3? I know the song (there is always a song), but I rarely read that section of scripture for one reason or another. Basically, there is a time for everything.
I love that. It doesn’t say there is time for everything, it says there is a time for everything.
Where Are You, Where am I
For the purpose of this article, I have it in my head we are all generally in one of three places in our lives. A birth, wedding, or death. As a photographer, I look at other photography sites and usually look at a ton of photos. It isn’t new to me, but if you look closely, I bet a huge huge percentage of photographs taken each year are at one of these events. Maybe not the last, but if you were to quantify photos of a birth (or infants), and images from weddings, it’s huge. We always seem to be in some transition in life, because we usually are moving from one of these areas to the other.
A Birth (Age 0 to about 12)
We are all born, don’t have much choice there, but I consider this time period really from the time of our actual birth until the time of understanding (as I would put it), around age 12. This is a transition period in our life where we are pushing forward to the “wedding”. How much influence is given to us through our parents, our church, our friends. I know many who have been altered for life from events or things that happened to them in this time period.
A Wedding (Age 12 to ????)
A wedding here, is our relationship with Christ. So, in essence, some may never hit this stage, they may go from birth to death. There isn’t a time frame put on this time period in our lives. We look for relationships, we develop some, break others, but we do, if we are breathing, have relationships with other people of some kind. At what point do we make that transition in our relationship with Christ where He is the center focus of our life? It could be at age 15 or age 50, or never, but either way, we are all still moving towards the third stage of our earthly lives. After the wedding day, the time period between the wedding and the death is our maturity. How much do we grow, how much do we learn, teach, understand, and what are we doing to help others move from their birth to their wedding?
A Death (Age ??? to Eternity)
I read something the other day on all these things someone wanted to get accomplished. He used the often used example of if you only had so many days to live, who would you call and say I love you to?Â His answer was, then you better go do it, now. We don’t like to think about it, or talk about it, or think about talking about it, but it doesn’t change the fact that this stage is on its way for all of us. At some point, we have accomplished what God wants us to get done here, and he will call us home, and it never seems to be at a convenient time for us, we always have things to do. When my mother in law died, she had stacks of pots she was using to replant all her house plants from the Winter months moving into the Spring. She had a lot left to do. As I re-potted her plants I realized, this was no longer on her busy list of things to do.
Where Are We in Our Transition
I think the last stage in our lives can actually come well before our physical death. It comes when we are spiritually dead, or when we can grow no more in our walk. In Philippians we are told to press on to the prize (of heaven).
Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
I think that when we come to a point in our lives where we are resigned to stay where we are, not move ahead and learn and grow we have begun the transition into the process of death. Perhaps it is a long slow process for some, perhaps it is instantaneous when the Lord calls our name. I know for most reading this, we are in between the Wedding and Death stage. There is a song called Pushing Up Daisies and the chorus says:
There’s two dates in time
That they’ll carve on your stone
And everyone knows what they mean
What’s more important
Is the time that is known
In that little dash there in between
That little dash there in between
That is really the point of this post I guess. What are we doing with the little dash there in between?