Telling Time: Keep or Toss?

“There is a time for everything . . . a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6)

Keep searching or give up? Push on or quit now? I hate making those decisions, and we’re always making those decisions, aren’t we? Is this the season to cowboy up and stick it out, to keep going no matter the cost, to push through the pain? Or should I just let it go, already, and find a better path, a better goal and new approach?

emb_350Nothing make me feel the need for God’s wisdom more than that question. Why? Because the stakes feel so high, don’t they? It might be absolutely foolish to quit now – or completely stupid to keep going down a failed path. Either way, there are consequences to not recognizing the season you’re in.

Here’s what helps me relax a little; we read it earlier this week: My times are in God’s hands. Not my hands. His. My choices do have consequences, but my decisions will never be powerful enough to overcome his agenda for my times. If I ask him for wisdom – and wisely refuse to let fear or pride or resentment drive my choosing – he is trustworthy to direct my steps even if I miss the most obvious exit.

The choices matter, but the choice to keep trusting him through each season matters most.

Think: Have you experienced seasons of searching for something? How did you know when it was time to stop looking? How do you know when it’s time to throw away an unhelpful habit or relationship?

Pray: Ask God to help you to have the wisdom to know when it’s time to search or to stop searching. Then ask him for the wisdom to know when it’s time to hold on to something or to throw it away.

Do: Ask a wise friend to tell you about a season of searching and how they knew when it was time to stop looking. Or ask how they have decided to end relationships that were unhealthy or maybe hurting their relationship with God.