Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ecclesiastes 1


Berry Girl said...

All I could think of as I read the first part of this chapter and "all things are wearisome" (v8) was laundry. And housecleaning in general. So wearisome - so circular - you finish it only to start it again.
I guess a lot of stuff in life is like that.

Chris said...

Doesn't exactly start with a cheery outlook. I like that somewhere I read about the Bible having evidences of science... here we read that Solomon understood the cycles of water, the roundness of the earth and the patterns of the sun.

Why do you think Solomon said "what a heavy burden God has laid on men!" ?

Prairie Chick said...

Her husband had cheated. She was angry. Angry at him. Angry at God. Angry at herself for being angry... Weak and bitter she finally asked, "Max, will I ever be happy again?"

She's not the first to wonder.

As the drinker orders a double, he wonders.

As the achiever logs another eighteen hour day, she wonders.

As the boss reaches for his secretary's hand, both wonder.

"Will I ever be happy again?"

There is a great dissatisfaction across the land. Hand after hand reaching out to quench thirsts and scratch itches. But the thirst lingers, the itch remains. As one man told me, "I learned that once I had what I wanted, I found I didn't want what I had."

Solomon could have said those words. He was unlimited in what he could do. Unbridled in what he could own. Unharnessed in what he could experience, so he set out to do it all.

...In spite of it all, or because of it all, he was restless. "I hated life," he journaled. He was isolated, frustrated, and longed for the good old days when things were simpler and the wine was sweeter.

For some reason, Solomon kept a record of his longings. And somehow, they became public. Maybe he knew that he wasn't the only one to get to the top of the ladder only to find it against the wrong building.

If that's where you are, this book might be for you."

Intro to Ecclesiastes, Max Lucado

Prairie Chick said...

I'm always afraid to make too big of a comment and then "lose it", so am going to make multiple posts today. After reading this, what came to mind was the trailer to Ann Morton Voskamp's new book;

(Ann reading an excerpt from her book, with her own photo's, absolutely a must see).

I can't say how much I love this philosophy, how much it is my life's call, to live in this spirit, in this moment and not in "pursuit" of anything.

Prairie Chick said...

B-Girl, your comment, I can so relate. I am trying SO hard to apply what we are learning in Sunday School in the latest chapters. To see our home as a work of art, a thing of beauty, and to take joy in the work that makes it beautiful. But it is SO hard when the floor is ALWAYS dirty and the piles continue to perpetually be created.

Chris, for me personally, I take that "heavy burden" to be the fact that the more you mature in this life, the harder it becomes to be satisfied. The more you realize we were created for "something more" that we can never fully achieve in this life and the longing and gnawing within us grows and grows to such a degree that you realize true fulfillment will only be yours when the heavens split and you see your beloved "riding on the clouds."

It is a heavy burden when you first realize that that is the way it is. That you can't ever be "fully happy" the way things are, but after that realization settles then I believe that the next step is learning to live with anticipation and joy about what is to come, and living each day to the fullest. Growing up is hard work.

Joan said...

Here are some thoughts from the intro to this book in my Life Applic. Bible.

Although the tone of Ecclesiastes is negative and pessimistic, we must not conclude that the only chapter worth reading and applying is the last one, where he draws is conclusions. In reality, the entire book is filled with practical wisdom (how to accomplish things in the world and stay out of trouble)and spiritual wisdom (how to find and know eternal values).

Solomon had a very honest approach. All of his remarks relating to the futility of life are there for a purpose: to lead us to seek fulfillment and happiness in God alone. He was not trying to destroy all hope, but to direct our hopes to the only one who can truly fulfill them and give our life meaning. Solomon affirms the value of knowledge, relationships, work and pleasure, but only in their proper place. Everything temporal must be seen in light of the eternal.

Read Ecclesiastes and learn about life. Hear the stern warnings and dire predictions,and commit yourself to remember your Creator now.

I'm excited to read this book again and study again how to live so that life is not just "meaningless - like chasing the wind".

Prairie Chick said...

love that intro, Joan. glad you are excited about reading the book, I am too.