June 25, 2017

A Time to Uproot

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: . . . a time to plant and a time to uproot.

—  Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

The end of the vegetable gardening season is a glad time and a sad time. In a good year, the harvest is healthy and heavy with bountiful beans, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, and all ­other kinds of produce. That’s the glad part. The sad part includes the uprooting of plants that still look hearty and strong but have yielded their harvest. So I often feel a pang of loss and sorrow when I uproot my spent broccoli, bean, and tomato plants. Nevertheless, it must be done to prepare for the next season.

The profound beauty of Eccle­siastes is its down-to-earth approach to life “under the sun.” While the time for planting may be more invigorating, the time for uprooting must receive its due. Embracing all of life and death as under God’s care and control is a glad/sad business that is only wise.

I could have left my broccoli, bean, tomato, and other plants in the ground in the hope that they would weather the frost and snow and sprout new life in the spring, but such is not the nature of those plants. If I hope to enjoy the sprouting of new life, I will need to plant again in the spring.

So too with the seasons of life—doing what is required in each season is a sad/glad business that in Christ leads to the world to come.

God in heaven, thank you for ordering the seasons of the year and the seasons of our lives. Help us to rejoice in you, no matter what the season. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Don Byker

Don Byker has been a pastor since 1984 in various churches and institutional settings. Don and his wife, Donna, are the parents of four adult children, two of whom are married. Donna and Don are also the glad grandparents of three granddaughters. Currently Don is serving in a rural church in Michigan full of gardeners.

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