Saturday, April 21, 2018

Five Minute Friday: TURN! TURN! TURN!

Today I'm linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community, writing for five minutes on a given prompt.

This week's word: TURN.

To everything (Turn! Turn! Turn!)
There is a season (Turn! Turn! Turn!)
And a time to every purpose under heaven.

This is the chorus of the song "Turn! Turn! Turn!" written by Pete Seeger and popularized by The Byrds. Except for the "Turn!" part, the words come (with minor alterations) from the King James translation of Ecclesiastes 3, the passage that says there is a time for everything:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

We have this passage on an embroidered wall hanging in our house, and I look at it and think about it often. I draw comfort and reassurance from these words, from the suggestion that everything, even things that appear to be bad, have their time and place. 

This list of opposites reminds me of the verse in Colossians 1 that says Jesus is "before all things, and in him all things hold together." 

Somehow there is room for birth and death in our lives. Weeping and laughing. Loving and hating. I don't understand all those paradoxes, yet I sense that they all have a role to play. They are all things Jesus can use in making us, and this world, new again.

The "Turn! Turn! Turn!" part of the song isn't in the Bible, of course, but I imagine it as a call to attention and action:

- Turn away from seeing yourself as the centre of the universe; instead recognize that you're part of the human community. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.

- Turn away from patterns that are enslaving you and others. Recognize when it's time to enter a new-more life-giving season.

- Turn away from black-and-white thinking, and recognize the gray areas, the in-betweens, the transition times when the old is dying but the new hasn't been birthed yet.

Turn. Turn. Turn.

Oh, and here are The Byrds singing the song:


  1. I thought of this song too. That reading was read at Barbara Bushs funeral today. Ive always loved that passage. I'm in the 52 spot this week.

    1. Very interesting that that was read at BB's funeral. I didn't know that. Thanks, Tara.

  2. Excellent post, Jeannie. I, too, thought of this passage but I didn't find the right words for a post. I am so glad you wrote this. I love your summation. And the fact that you included the Byrd's song..... well. Perfection!
    Happy to be your neighbor at FMF. God bless!

    1. Thanks so much, Vicki. I really enjoy connecting with you through FMF. I appreciate your comment as always.

  3. The passage in Colossians helps see Ecclesiastes 3 in alignment with the sovereignty of God. Thanks for making the connection. I’d have never seen that myself.


    1. Thanks, Tim. This idea came to me from a passage in Makoto Fujimura's book Silence and Beauty about how diversity is part of God's plan, and Jesus is the center that holds all the paradoxes together. I have been pondering this quote ever since I read the book and I guess it was informing my thinking as I wrote the post.


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