Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ecclesiastes: "Shadows That Cover The Land"

(Ecclesiastes 1: "What is the Good Life?")
 Ecclesiastes 5
     Wow. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by what I see and hear as king.  Clearly I was right: we are the problem.  It weighs on me, but it also gives me perspective. 

     I’ve seen evil people get away with a hundred atrocities and still live a long life.  That used to make me question your justice, but over time I have seen that the truly good life is reserved for those who fear you, and who aren’t ashamed to let people know. Evil people might live long, but that’s not the same as living well.  They fear things to – just not you – but that doesn’t make them better people at all.  Those who fear you build towering lives that cast a long shadow: people find shade and rest close to them. 
     But the Others, the evil ones…they cast a small shadow, or no shadow at all. They are nothing, even if they think they are.  What they do and how they live is truly hebel, no matter how long their life lasts.

     But those with the good life….hmmm…..  They live well – their shadow covers the land - because they fear you.  It’s not the work of adversity and pain in their life that casts this shadow; it’s not their enjoyment of the wealth you gave them either. This is different. There is nothing hebel about them.

     I’m trying to understand how their fear of you nourishes them.  I don’t usually associate fear with well-being.  Honestly, I’ve been afraid of a lot of things, but never you.  I have been afraid of boredom, and loneliness, and emptiness, and poverty…but not of you.  None of those fears served me well, which is why I need some help on this one.

       I read somewhere “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  Where was that again?

Ecclesiastes 6
    I want wisdom more than anything.    
    I’m struggling with the unpredictability of life again. I have looked everywhere, and I can’t figure what you are ultimately doing on this earth.  I have been having these great revelatory insights about you, I have learned to embrace the hard times and the good times, I have been getting a handle on “the good life” – I thought I was really doing well.   I’m back to the beginning again.  Back to the basics. 

    Premise 1: All of us will die. 
    Premise 2: I can’t figure you out.
    Premise 3:  I can’t figure life out.

    If all the news I get in court is true, the swift don’t always win the racethe warriors don’t always win the battle; the wise and noble don’t always prosper; no one knows when they will die.  The deck is stacked; Time and Chance are the house, and the house always wins.  

     Conclusion:  Whatever I do, I’ll do it well until time and chance overtake me.  I’ll eat happily and drink cheerfully; clearly, if you bless me with stuff, you want me to enjoy it. I’ll dress up and put on cologne, and enjoy life with my spouse.  Spouses. (What was I thinking?!?!)  This is what I have worked for and earned. And if I can be wise instead of stupid, I will do even better.

   Life is fleeting and temporary, so I will enjoy it with gusto. 

     This is the best I can do with the wisdom you have given me.  At one time that would have upset me, but it doesn’t anymore. Oddly enough (for me), I’m good with this.  I am content to know just this much.  It is enough.  If this is how God made this life to be, I accept it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment