Monday, August 25, 2008

Ecclesiastes, Chapter 11

Last night I had one of those incredibly deep and meaningful conversations that leads me to a fork on my road of life. I was presented with a new truth. I can choose to move forward and remember that truth, or I can not change and continue down the path I am on. As further proof that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, I am brought to Ecclesiastes 11 this morning in my study. I have never been a person to take risks. Because of that, I have been violating the spirit of the Word here.

1 Cast your bread upon the waters,
for after many days you will find it again.
2 Give portions to seven, yes to eight,

for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. – Ecclesiastes 11:1-2

Last night I realized that I haven’t lived much of a life because I haven’t taken many risks. Because of that, I am in the position I am in now with a job I hate, living in a place I hate. There is a difference here between foolish risks and calculated risks. The theme of control being an illusion continues to be played out here as well. Were are being told that it is better to take action than do nothing at all. For too long I have let my own fear paralyze me into doing nothing. As a result, I am here.

This is common. My biggest problem is recognizing this and agonizing over the missed chances. I realized last night, not for the first time, that there is nothing I can do about those missed chances. They cannot come back. Because of that, I must be prepared for the future chances that will come along. Agonizing over missed opportunities has robbed me of my joy in even those small, positive moments of life.

8 However many years a man may live,
let him enjoy them all.
But let him remember the days of darkness,
for they will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless.

9 Be happy, young man, while you are young,

and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you to judgment. – Ecclesiastes 11:8-9

I certainly don’t have any trouble remembering the dark days. When remembered properly, they give us perspective on the good times. We can easily be overcome by the negativity of this darkness. I speak from great personal experience when I say it can cloud everything we do. When we do remember the dark times in conjunction with the good, it can help us find God. Even in those dark moments, God has been there. If we search only for good feelings, we won’t find them totally in this world because it is a fallen place. In that, we lose touch with reality and are not centered on God.

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