Monday, August 18, 2008

Ecclesiastes, Chapter 6

The author of Ecclesiastes points out another harsh reality in today’s lesson. It is unfortunately part of our human nature to want more from life. Even though we are given much, we always want more. This is something I struggle with daily. Just this past weekend, I was confronted with the fact that I am rarely happy and thankful for what I do have. I think this is why this chapter has resonated with me so strongly. I am one of those people that cannot seem to be happy even when things are going well. It is a constant almost physical effort for me to relax and be sated even for a few brief moments. In those moments they are sweet, however.

1 I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: 2 God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.—Ecclesiastes 6:1-2

This truly is a curse. When I look at my life I see that I have had all of my major needs met. I have absolutely no reason to despair over much of anything, yet I constantly feel unfulfilled. I feel like I am living this chapter, this passage even. It is a difficulty stemming from an inability to rise above this world. I don’t know if this is my fault or the world influencing me with its ways. It is a struggle that must be overcome, however, and soon. I fear it is causing much more harm than I realize at the moment.

12 For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone? – Ecclesiastes 6:12

God knows what is good for a man in life. We are once again reminded that life carries little meaning unless it is lived with God. It is this way, and only this way, that we can take some joy from our short time here. Only God can have an effect on what happens once we are gone as well.

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