If you want to write a hit song for Millennials, here’s how (that is, according to a joke I saw recently): First you start with some banjo. Then all the musicians shout “Hey!” The body of the song should contain complaints about life by Millennials. Then another “Hey!” Finish with a bit more banjo, played faster and fading out. Like any good joke, it’s an exaggeration based on a bit of truth. And the truth is, young people tend to complain when things aren’t going the way they hoped. And write songs about it. It’s not just Millennials. My generation did it back in the 60’s. “I’m just a man of constant sorrow. I’ve seen trouble all my days.” We sang that with earnest looks, even though our “days” were just getting started.
But, spend time with an old farmer, someone who has struggled through the ups and downs of a tough life, and you’re much more apt to hear a fiddle tune than a bunch of complaining. The farmers I have known are well acquainted with the fact that life ebbs and flows through good times and bad, and that complaining only makes it worse. In fairness to Millennials, their generation is also known for a desire to “keep it real.” And in time, by “keeping it real,” they will be known for patient acceptance of life’s various seasons. Because those seasons are real.
Perhaps the most famous section of Ecclesiastes are these next verses.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace
Try to identify exactly which of these seasons you have experienced and when. Call to mind any of the ways you experienced God’s influence and care during them.