Everyone assumed book three would be called A Time to Live. In fact, it even turned into a joke between me and some friends (yes, Lisa Godfrees, I’m looking at you.) And, when you break down the titles and look at the progression, A Time to Live just makes sense, right?
I’ll admit, I considered it. For about a second.
But my titles are chosen for very specific reasons and book three’s title was the hardest to find. It’s been the red-headed step-child of my manuscripts — not making sense and the toughest one to wrangle. I went from title to title to title and they just didn’t fit. Not even A Time to Live, so here’s my explanation why I went with A Time to Rise.
A time to…and a time to not…
– In the “Time” passage of Ecclesiastes, everything is a contrast. A time for WAR or time for PEACE. They’re opposites. (Meaning sometimes there should be war, and sometimes there shouldn’t.) And the opposite of “A Time to Die” is “A Time to Be Born.” This implies there is a time when we are not dying and times when you can be born and you can’t be born.
I have a point, I promise.
But notice there is no opposite to live. Because if Ecclesiastes included A Time to Live, that would imply that there are times we shouldn’t be living. (“Living” in the sense of it being an action, not a state of being alive.) We should ALWAYS be living. We should always be pursuing life, actively seeking God, growing His children, & striving to bring shalom. (Tweet this) That’s not something that should be stopped. Because there is never a time when God calls us to laziness, mediocrity, passionlessness…
For Parvin (and for all of us)…it’s always been time to live, even when she’d “wasted her life.” It’s the same for us. So I didn’t title book three “A Time to Live” because that implies that what she’s been doing this far has not “counted.” Oh, but it has.
I’d originally planned to take all the titles for the books from Ecclesiastes three. And I’ll admit it was rather cruel of me to let many of you still think that’s where the title was coming from during our guessing game. *sniff* I’m sorry.
Here’s what changed my mind:
– A Time to Die (book 1) was Parvin questioning the purpose of life. She met The Preacher who’s a type of King Solomon from Ecclesiastes (bitter, grouchy, and hopeless…) During this book, she realizes that The Preacher is wrong — there is purpose to life. She’s going to bring shalom. So, in a sense, she outgrows the challenge of Ecclesiastes.
– A Time to Speak (book 2) was taken from the Ecclesiastes 3 passage, but the theme of the book really came from Hebrews 11:4. (If you’ve read the book, you know what I’m talking about. Hint: read the last line of the book.) I mixed the title from Ecclesiastes and Hebrews, and in a sense this revealed the grown that Parvin had made.
– A Time to Rise (book 3) is now so far from Ecclesiastes 3 that it just didn’t make sense to take a title from there. The story in Ecclesiastes is completed. So after a lot of prayer, I took the title from Isaiah 60:1-2. I love how the chapter starts with God calling us to rise for His glory. It’s a calling that is applicable to each and every one of us and seemed to complete the circle and the messages of the books perfectly.
That’s where the title A Time to Rise comes from. Stay tuned for more information about book 3 in the coming months via this blog and my newsletter!
What do you think? Should it have been A Time to Live?