If the books of the Bible were songs, Ecclesiastes would be my jam.
“The Preacher”, as it is traditionally rendered, has much to say about this life. But nearly all of it can be summed up in this: “all is vanity, and a chasing after wind” (Eccl 6:9b, NRSV)
After my last encounter with disillusionment (thank you Seminary), I realized just how much time and energy I waste on nothings. Things that do not really matter outside of flattering my own image of myself. That’s a brutal truth to contend with. One that managed to smash apart all of my towering castles of sand with a single, crashing wave. Oh well. The tide was going to come in at some point….
How, then, shall we live? I couldn’t tell ya. I’m still trying to figure that out for myself. But I can tell you, that I had just finished building this perfect-looking life for myself. With the crazy-in-love marriage that every girl hopes for, the adorable, whip-smart litter of children, the quaint country house with a sprawling yard, the shiny minivan parked next to hubby’s Harley in our two-car garage…. And it wasn’t enough. It isn’t enough.
I can’t be satisfied with an image, when what I really want, more than anything in this life, is the freedom to be me.
What could possibly be standing in my way of being truly myself? Myself, of course. Deep down, I do not believe that anyone could or would love me as I am. Except for God. But He’s invisible, so He doesn’t count (j/k. Kind of).
I’ve been ruled by external standards and measures of success for so long, I don’t know to live without them. It doesn’t matter, because they weren’t real. It was me chasing wind this whole freaking time.
“See, this alone I found, that God made human beings straightforward, but they have devised many schemes.” Eccl 7:29 (NRSV)
I want to be a straightforward human being. Whatever that looks like for me. I’m tired of playing games… tired of chasing after wind. I know what matters, and it isn’t what everyone around me is striving for.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; atime to keep, and a time to throw away;a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain have the workers from their toil?” Eccl. 3:1-9 (NRSV)
I guess it is the time to reflect. I’ll just have to wait for the time to act to present itself. Right now, I’m doing neither….just rocking out to my jam. The Preacher gets me.