Tag: meaningless

Sept 3 What matters most?

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Father, what great knowledge Solomon amassed!

It seems he did it all, and lived to write it all down for me to know how to best spend my time.  Certainly he saw many things and did many things he categorized as “meaningless.”

He built grand structures, planted extensive gardens.  He wrote many ”nature guides” cataloging and describing plants and animals.   He enjoyed all that money could buy, withholding no pleasure from himself.  But found these things “meaningless.”

He did recognize some things as having value.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”  And “two will keep warm…and defend themselves.”

So Father, will You always send another to be with me.  And let me be there for someone else.  Let there always be someone in my life to help me up when I fall.  To help me keep warm, and defend myself.  It may be a friend or family member, or even a stranger You send at the right time.

“It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.  Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.”   So Father, help me let my yes be yes and my no mean no, and not make promises I cannot or will not keep.

Do not let me be “quick with my mouth or hasty with my heart,” but consider my thoughts, feelings, words and commitments carefully.

When I think about Solomon I wonder, did he ever hold his newborn and marvel at the miracle of life?  Did he watch and help that child grow and learn?  Did he pass on his knowledge and love of You to that child and see him come to love and worship You too?  Did he promise his life to one person and live faithfully in that covenant; having their support and love for a lifetime?

Did he examine each animal and plant, but forget to marvel at the diversity and imagination and power of You, the Creator?  Did he share his life with a friend who stuck with him through thick and thin, good and bad?  And console that friend and receive comfort from them?

Did he hold the hand of a dying loved one and tell them they are loved, all is forgiven, and “I will see you in heaven?”

To me, these are the things that are most meaning-FULL.  The relationships, the connections with people that You allow into my life – that’s where the meaning lies.

I agree that amassing wealth, building buildings and writing volumes of knowledge will all pass away.  But loving You and sharing Your love with others – these things are eternal.

Father, help me remember not to chase after the wind, but to chase only after You.  Amen.

Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12

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Sept 5 Fear God and keep His commandments

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Father, there are so many things Solomon saw and experienced and wrote about: wise men and fools, hard work and laziness, feasting and mourning, rich and poor, old age and youth, life and death.

He ends with this: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of this matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”  

My whole purpose is to honor and revere You! To acknowledge who You are, and respect You for it. To do what You show me to do. And not do what You caution or command me not to do.

It is not to amass wealth. It is not to leave a legacy of institutions or businesses. It is not to make scientific discoveries. It is not even to compose a masterpiece, write an inspiring book or create a memorable work of art.

The Psalmist adds his wisdom to the collection as he reminds me “you can’t take it with you.” Riches cannot add time to the length of my days. And none of these things can come with me past my life here on earth.

But You, Father, will be with me for eternity. It is You who will “redeem my life from the grave, and take me to be with Yourself”. You “will bring every deed into judgment…”.

And Solomon says he has written down “sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching true and reliable words, so that you can give sound answers to Him who sent you.” Meaning that if I abide by his counsel, knowledge, teachings and words, I will be able to give a godly account of my life here on earth.

 So Father, teach me to apply this wisdom. Show me how to make decisions about my life that keep me focused on the right things and set godly priorities.

Do not let me chase after meaningless things: riches to boast in, prideful reputation, positions to exalt myself.   Help me remember that You are my future. And whatever blessings You bring into my life, are to be used to honor You.

Let me have a true understanding of the wisdom that comes from You. Amen

Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14; Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 22:20-21

 

Sept 3 What matters most?

wind-rose-1209398_640Father, what great knowledge Solomon amassed!

It seems he did it all, and lived to write it all down for me to know how to best spend my time. Certainly he saw many things and did many things he categorized as “meaningless”.

He built grand structures, planted extensive gardens. He wrote many ”nature guides” cataloging and describing plants and animals.   He enjoyed all that money could buy, withholding no pleasure from himself. But found these things “meaningless”.

He did recognize some things as having value.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” And “two will keep warm…and defend themselves.” So Father, will You always send another to be with me.

Let there always be someone in my life to help me up when I fall. And help me keep warm, and defend myself. It may be a friend or family member, or even a stranger You send at the right time. And let me be there for someone else.

“It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.”   So Father, help me let my ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and my ‘no’ mean ‘no’, and not make promises I cannot or will not keep.

Help me not be “quick with my mouth or hasty with my heart”, but consider my thoughts, feelings, words and commitments carefully.

When I think about Solomon , I wonder, did he ever hold his newborn and marvel at the miracle of life? Did he watch and help that child grow and learn? Did he pass on his knowledge and love of You to that child and see him come to love and worship You too? Did he promise his life to one person and live faithfully in that covenant; having their support and love for a lifetime?

Did he examine each animal and plant, but forget to marvel at the diversity and imagination and power of You, the Creator? Did he share his life with a friend who stuck with him through thick and thin, good and bad? And console that friend and receive comfort from them?

Did he hold the hand of a dying loved one and tell them they are loved, all is forgiven, and “I will see you in heaven?”

To me, these are the things that are most meaning-FULL. The relationships, the connections with people that You allow into my life – that’s where the meaning lies.

I agree that amassing wealth, building buildings and writing volumes of knowledge will all pass away. But loving You and sharing Your love with others – these things are eternal.

Father, help me remember, remind me, not to chase after the wind, but to chase only after You. Amen.

Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12

Sept 2 Frustration to Faith

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“Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

 

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But: “God is [my] refuge and [my] strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

In one day’s scripture reading Father, I can begin with the thoughts and emotions of Solomon here, that everything is meaningless. And yet, finish with the power of the truth of the Psalmist: that I need not fear no matter what because You are my refuge.

Many days I feel the frustration of wondering whether I have an impact on my world, or the people in it. Have I shared my knowledge in a way that has benefited anyone? Have I improved anyone’s life? Blessed them? Inspired them? Encouraged them?

Solomon acknowledges “there is nothing new under the sun.” The earth turns, winds blow, water runs its course and “All things are wearisome, more than one can say.” There are certainly days Lord, when I feel all I do, or have done has had no impact and left me weary.

Clothes are cleaned and put away, then need to be washed again. The kitchen is cleaned, dishes done, but only until the next meal is prepared. Books are read and then forgotten. Classes taught to rooms of students, then they move on to other classes, piling on knowledge without the opportunity to put it into use till much of it is forgotten.

Children grow and what was taught in the home is often overpowered by the forces and influences of the world. World powers come and go but mistakes, oppressions, injustices remain regardless of our attempts to finance or vote ourselves to a better life.

It can lead me to discouragement. Solomon says “There is no remembrance of men of old…” Sobering.

But “everything that God does will endure forever.”

And God, You made me. I am an eternal being. And when I choose to work with You, and make Your desires mine, I know those things will last. You are my refuge, my strength. So when I am feeling overwhelmed by the world I can call on, rely on Your strength in my weakness.

When I feel I have no place to turn, I can turn to You as my refuge, my place of gaining courage and being re-energized. In temptation, You will make a way of escape. In trouble, You will provide an answer. “The Lord Almighty is with [me]”. And with You are all power and all authority. “Therefore [I] will not fear.”  Amen

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11; Psalm 46:1-2, 7

 

Sept 5 Fear God and keep His commandments

hand-1245939_640Father, there are so many things Solomon saw and experienced and wrote about: wise men and fools, hard work and laziness, feasting and mourning, rich and poor, old age and youth, life and death. He ends with this: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of this matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

My whole purpose is to honor and revere You! To acknowledge who You are, and respect You for it. To do what You show me to do. And not do what You caution or command me not to do.   It is not to amass wealth. It is not to leave a legacy of institutions or businesses. It is not to make scientific discoveries. It is not even to compose a masterpiece, write an inspiring book or create a memorable work of art.

The Psalmist adds his wisdom to the collection as he reminds me ‘you can’t take it with you’. Riches cannot add time to the length of my days. And none of these things can come with me past my life here on earth.

But You, Father, will be with me for eternity. It is You who will “redeem my life from the grave, and take me to be with Yourself”. You “will bring every deed into judgment…”. And Solomon says he has written down “sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching true and reliable words, so that you can give sound answers to Him who sent you.” Meaning that if I abide by his counsel, knowledge, teachings and words, I will be able to give a godly account of my life here on earth.

So Father, teach me to apply this wisdom. Show me how to make decisions about my life that keep me focused on the right things and set godly priorities. Do not let me chase after meaningless things: riches to boast in, prideful reputation, positions to exalt myself.   Help me remember that You are my future. And whatever blessings You bring into my life, are to be used to honor You. Let me have a true understanding of the wisdom that comes from You. Amen

Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14; Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 22:20-21

Sept 3 What matters most?

wind-rose-1209398_640

Father, what knowledge Solomon amassed!

He observed and did a great many things and yet categorized them as

“meaningless”.

He did recognize some things as having value.  “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”  And “two will keep warm…and defend themselves.”  So Father, send another to help me up when I fall.  And help me keep warm, and defend myself.  It may be a friend or family member, or even a stranger You send at the right time.  And let me be there for someone else in their time of need.

“It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.  Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.”   So Father, let my ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and my ‘no’ mean ‘no’, not making promises I cannot or will not keep.  Help me avoid being “quick with my mouth or hasty with my heart”, but consider my thoughts, feelings, words and commitments carefully.

When I think about Solomon I wonder, if he ever held his newborn and marveled at the miracle of life?  Did he watch and help that child grow and learn?  Did he pass on his knowledge and love of You to that child and see him come to love and worship You too?  Did he promise his life to one person and live faithfully in that covenant; having their support and love for a lifetime?  Did he examine each animal and plant, but forget to marvel at the diversity and imagination and power of You, the Creator?  Did he share his life with a friend who stuck with him through thick and thin, good and bad?  And console that friend and receive comfort from them?  Did he hold the hand of a dying loved one and tell them they are loved, all is forgiven, and “I will see you in heaven”?

To me, these are the things that are most meaning-FULL.  The relationships, the connections with people that You allow into my life – that’s where the meaning lies.  I agree that amassing wealth, building buildings and writing volumes of knowledge will all pass away.  But loving You and sharing Your love with others – these things are eternal.

Father, remind me not to chase after the wind, but to chase only after You.  Amen.

Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12