Tis the Right Season?

Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

The end of the year is near. I know that not just because of the change in seasons or the flip of the calendar. I know it because, once again, I’m in a total panic that time is passing by faster than I can do the right thing with it. Just like I was in June 2011.

The “right” thing. When I initially thought about this post, I was going to write, “faster than I know what to do with it.” I also thought, “faster than I can do what I want to do with it.” I don’t know if what I want to do is “right” or if it’s the “right” time for what I want to do when I want to do it. Considering I usually want what I want right now, and some of the things I want can’t realistically coexist, right now must not be the season for some or any of those things.

For example, today’s Top 5 Right-Now Wants:

  1. Publish my memoir
  2. Adapt memoir into a one-woman show
  3. Perform Show
  4. Be married
  5. Have at least one child that comes from my own body

I have to be specific about number 5 because I want number 4 to happen before number 5, number 4 could take a while and although I could adopt a child irrespective of pregnancy, there’s a time limit on fertility. I also have to consider that the one-woman show based on the memoir will not be as effective if I perform it while pregnant or wrinkled and with the added curves that normally come with age. Of course, before I perform the thing I have to write it, revise it and rehearse it, which could take a year or two or so, which means it could also run right into the time when having my first child could become dangerous—that is, if I manage to leave my computer (or a rehearsal hall, or an MFA acting program, because it’s been more than a year since I last performed on stage and I would need some coaching anyway) long enough to land in a relationship that would actually lead to marriage …

You see where I’m going with this. My dreams, as I want them, look impossible. And those are just the Top 5.

I decided to read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 yesterday morning. It’s long been one of my favorite scriptures because it makes me believe there is such a thing as right timing and that things come about in the season in which they should. It begins:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

But yesterday morning I read a different version than I normally do and got a surprise in verse 6:

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away (NIV 1984)

Give up? There’s a time to give up? That’s different from the King James Version of “a time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away.” There’s no volition in the latter; you win some, you lose some. You try and sometimes life doesn’t go your way, no matter how much effort you put into it. Though the second parts of the verse are the same, “throw away” becomes a more decisive action when coupled with “give up,” as in, “There’s a time to give up your dreams and throw them away.”

I would be sad to give up on any of my Top 5, but I began to wonder this morning if it’s time—for now or forever.

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