The Bible is many things. Depending on your religious convictions or lack thereof, it is a book of history, it is a book of genealogy, it is a book of conjecture and speculation, it is a book of dreams, it is a book of belief, it is a book of exquisite writings and it is a book of wisdom. Whether one believes in it literally or not, one cannot escape the fact that portions of it permeate our language, in terms of sayings and words of wisdom. My intend is not to get into a religious controversy, but I think most everyone would agree that there are some verses that stand out for all, in terms of beauty and/or wisdom.
Certainly, the words of the 23rd Psalm, especially the King James Version, are one of these. It has brought peace of mind to millions and millions as they faced the end of their lives and probably will be close at hand as we end ours. I doubt if there is any other writing that has the power to soothe as those words.
To that Psalm, I would add another portion of the Bible, well known although most people couldn’t quote the exact scripture. So famous, in fact, that the thoughts it conveys and some of the actual words were used in a popular song. Simplistic as the theme is, it offers words of wisdom that have withstood the test of time. And well it should, for it is about time. It talks about the cycles of life and the acceptance of them.
Whether you are a Christian who believes in Jesus Christ, a Jew who awaits the coming of the messiah, a Muslim who reveres Mohammed, an agnostic or an atheist, the verses describe the orderly rhythm of our lives. And if you believe in God, then you have an insight to the nature of the universe as god wished it to be. The writings, of course, are found in Ecclesiastes 3, verses 1-7, and it seems the older I get, the more profound the words become:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
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.