For everything there is a season, The existential preacher reminds us. A truth that can lead us beyond reason, Where life cannot be explained or discussed. Which could lead us to exclaim, "Vanity! Why bother - it's all just chasing the wind! So let us forget this insanity, And eat and drink without thought of the end." But the wind chases us, too; the Spirit Prompting us to wrestle life's mystery Until we are blessed, limping to limits Of reason, past all human misery. Grace-filled seasons leading to hard-won truths, When faith inspires us to plant and uproot.
This is a sonnet written for my son, whose birthday we celebrate tomorrow, and whose favorite book of the bible is Ecclesiastes. (I also wrote a sonnet for my daughter on one of her favorite passages from scripture. Here it is: Habakkuk’s “Yet …”)
“Teacher” in Hebrew is Qoheleth, which is where the title of this sonnet comes from. This sonnet is also inspired by these well-known verses from Ecclesiastes:
The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.Ecclesiastes 1:1-2
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.Ecclesiastes 3:1-2