Monday, April 11, 2011


In another Bible book credited to Solomon, he lists polarities that are interdependent. (Ecclesiastes 3)

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.”

One cannot exist without the other. Seizing upon mourning but never allowing time to dance is emotional suicide. Frenetically embracing without refraining is a psychological illness. Never talking leads to hatred.

Normal humanity cycles around and between a given set of two poles with energy that demands awareness and management. Picture a horizontal figure 8 around the poles of time to keep and time to throw away.

I have observed that in our marriage, it is always a good time to throw away what is in the house. But what is stashed away in the garage is to be kept, yea verily unto the third and fourth generation.

This could be a problem if either one of us becomes truly stuck on either pole. We would hoist ourselves with our own *petard.

* Injured by the device that you intended to use to injure others.

Reference: Oswald, Roy M. and Barry Johnson. Managing Polarities in Congregations. The Alban Institute, 2010.

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