Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Saturday, March 14
Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven … a time to be born and a time to die … a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together … (selected verses)


With the help of family and friends, my garage and basement storage areas got cleaned out this fall. Several pickup loads of stuff went to the dump; a couple pickup loads went to the church garage sale; several loads went to Goodwill or the community breakfast collection of winter wear. All those discarded items once had a purpose in my life. Maybe somebody else can use them now.

… a time to keep and a time to throw away.

I’m mostly unemotional about getting rid of stuff, but I did have some separation anxiety when it came to my high school memorabilia — photos, movie stubs, dance programs, dried corsages. The high school memories still mattered enough that I had to look at each page in those decrepit old scrapbooks before hardening my heart and throwing them into the reject bin. It was time.

… a time to laugh and a time to weep.

I found a VHS tape we had made of my grandfather many years ago. He was in his mid-80s when Tom and I interviewed him for that video. Life was so different in the beginning of the 20th century when Grampy was a boy, and his stories were fascinating. But what I remember most about him is that he had a great sense of humor, so dry and self-deprecating that you just had to chuckle listening to his reminiscences. I miss my Grampy so much. I laughed at his jokes, I wept when he died, and I will never forget him. He was my hero.

… a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones.

I wasn’t keeping any stones in the basement or garage. There were a bunch of old paint cans, carpet remnants and a few ceramic tiles. No stones. But I did get rid of cans, carpets and tiles. They were like stones around my neck.

The true and solid rocks of faith were gathered up from dusty boxes — my baptismal certificate, confirmation Bible and hymnal, a blurry photo of me and my great-grandmother on confirmation day and, of course, the Grampy video. I have other Bibles, other hymnals, other family photos. None of them speaks so profoundly of faith foundations as the rocks of faith in my basement.

Dallas Cronk

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