Friday, August 22, 2008

Ecclesiastes, Chapter 10

It is very frustrating when we see those who are not qualified promoted ahead of us. This seems to be the story of the last three years of my life. I have worked several jobs where, on the basis of seniority alone, certain people are untouchable. They constantly screw things up and even belittle other employees, yet they do not face repercussions. I have lost count of how many times I have heard the phrase, “That’s just the way they are,” when explaining their shortcomings while I am forced to clean up the mess.

Ecclesiastes 10 touches on this briefly when it talks about the unfairness of life. Hard work and diligence do pay off when we work according to God’s principles, but that does not mean it applies in all situations. There are a number of people in authority (and that even includes this country’s government) that don’t deserve to be there. The way that life goes and sometimes even blind luck can elevate people who don’t deserve their lofty status. Still, God uses these to accomplish that which He wants to accomplish.

4 If a ruler's anger rises against you,
do not leave your post;
calmness can lay great errors to rest.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,

the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
6 Fools are put in many high positions,

while the rich occupy the low ones. – Ecclesiastes 10:4-6

This has been a major source of frustration as I have been searching for a permanent job. I am not one to stay calm when I have to suffer for other people’s mistakes. I feel like I am being dumped on then, and that others are being praised for their stupidity. The important lesson is one that I have yet to learn, and that is patience. I have to learn and trust that God is in control in all situations. As we have seen earlier in this book, it may be as simple as asking yourself, “What does God want me to learn here?”

8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it;
whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them;

whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
10 If the ax is dull

and its edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed
but skill will bring success.
11 If a snake bites before it is charmed,

there is no profit for the charmer. – Ecclesiastes 10:8-11

This is a lesson on taking risks in life. We can’t expect to get anywhere unless we risk something from time to time. Even if we are careful in what risks we take, accidents can happen. Still, we must boldly move forward. I have often talked here about how I have played it safe for too long. This has caused me to miss a number of risks, but in that I have missed a number of risky opportunities that surely would have worked out for the best. Once again, we must trust that God will make the best out of any situation.

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