moving on

Stuck? Let it go!

“There is a time for everything . . . A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.” Ecclesiastes 3:6

Everything in life has an expiration date and hazardous warnings do apply. Expiration dates are not just for food. Typically holding on to something beyond its expiration date can be hazardous to a person’s health. That even applies to beloved possessions, houses, jobs, relationships, activities, attitudes and life itself.

Just read the first eight verses of Ecclesiastes chapter three or listen to the old 1965 Byrds hit song Turn! Turn! Turn! The message is loud and clear, eventually there comes a time when everything, both good and bad, has its proper time to end. Wise King Solomon who wrote Ecclesiastes does not mince words when he says there is a time to die, uproot, kill, tear down, weep, mourn scatter, give up, throw away and tear. That sounds harsh and death-sentence like, particularly to things we love.

Endings in general are much less appealing than beginnings. But the offsetting truth is that endings are actually necessary for new beginnings.

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Moving on from disappointment

“I am a sojourner and foreigner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” Genesis 23:4

One of the biggest hindrances to moving on from past losses, disappointments or failures is their painful image embedded in our subconscious. These recurring remembrances can produce a paralyzing cycle of grief and regret. This cycle, with its accompanying fear and negativity, blocks those who experience it from forging a renewed, hopeful and purposeful future.

In this verse we find Abraham negotiating to purchase a beautifully situated piece of real estate in the hill country near Hebron, which he intends to dedicate as a cemetery for his wife Sarah. It appears this is an important topic because an entire chapter in the Bible is taken up with this singular business dealing.

Ironically this piece of property, named Macpelah, would become the only actual deeded foothold the patriarchs would have in Canaan, the land of promise, until its conquest by Joshua over 500 years later. It became the resting place of not only Sarah, but Abraham himself as well as Isaac and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah. (Genesis 25:9 & 49:31)

Abraham’s conversation reveals something about himself which is very instructional. He tells the Hittites that the reason he wants a burial place is so “I can bury my dead out of my sight.” That is a very intriguing statement and one from which we can learn a valuable lesson.

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