As I was finishing up my study of Mark, I kept thinking about Ecclesiastes. My mental state of late has wondered what the meaning of all this stuff we do. I mean, who cares about my basement getting finished or my old car or most anything in the grand scheme of things. It’s a little fatalist and depressing (don’t worry Mom, I’m fine), but that’s where I’ve been. It’s So today I start a study of Ecclesiastes.
I also hope to (once again) recommit myself to more serious study and reading of the scriptures. I said study and reading. My studies will be posted here, but I need to spend other free moments just reading. No note taking, no blogging, just reading. I’ve generally put off my study time until I can be at the computer taking notes no the blog. There’s a place for that, but that kind of time s harder to find. There are little moments where I can just break open the eSword on my phone or the Bible on the side table and read for a few minutes. no expectations but taking it in.
I’ve been trying to do that with my older girls in the morning. I’ve been reading Matthew out loud as they get breakfast. I say try, because getting two middle schoolers up at 6 AM can be challenging. We generally get some reading in at least 2-3 days a week though.
Anyway, that’s where I am.

What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.

Ecclesiastes 1:3-4

This I can relate to lately. What’s the point? Fix things up, they just break again. Gather and gather and you now have more things to look after. Things that begin to break as soon as you get them home. In the end, what does it gain? Life feels particularly short these days. I think it’s the down turn of my body after 40, seeing friends age, seeing my parents age and seeing me now where they were when I was growing up and them where my grandparents were. We’ve both stepped to the next square on the game board and I still feel like I’m back where I was. I wasn’t done there yet. The arc of life feels more real than it used to.
There’s nothing new here, everyone deals with it. I’m not overly depressed about it (I don’t think), but I’m not particularly happy these days either. This too will pass.
Maybe Ecclesiastes isn’t a good book to read under theses circumstances (any thoughts on that?). I’m hoping the conclusions that Solomon reached (which I already know) will bring some contentment to my soul.
Kansas Bob posted the other day that he used to rule the world. Things weer black and white and he thought he was in control with his destiny. Then life happened and he learned it was an illusion. At the end of the post he wrote:

I no longer rule the world but I am content with my place in it.

That’s where I long to get. I understand the first part, but I’ve yet to achieve the second. I’m hoping Solomon will help me.
Ecclesiastes 1:8 – “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” This verse made me think of those who pursue the Bible as the end rather than the means. In other words, they long to know their Bible more than they long to know God. I’ve never had that problem :-D, rather I’ve forgotten too often that the God I strive to know is revealed in the Bible. Knowing the Bible is a means to the end of knowing Him.

4 thoughts on “Ecclesiastes 1

  1. Great thought Doug! Glad I stopped by today.. I shared this verse (from Ecc 7:10) with my fiend Jim over breakfast this morning:
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
    I feel like God is challenging me to jettison my good old days thinking.. I love those good old days but they really have a way of hindering me.
    I am looking forward to your bloggings on Ecclesiastes.

  2. I love Ecclesiastes. I love the story of a man who’s thrown away the world, and come back to it again and found God there waiting.
    I’m still out here, and still reading all your stuff. Thanks for keeping at it 🙂

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