I spent a little bit of time last night reflecting and pulling myself back together. I think shouldering the financial responsibilities (though temporarily) and trying to readjust to a new home can always put people on edge (see the previous post.)
However, this is all an opportunity to start fresh, start anew. I think I spend too much time trying to understand the meaning of it all (the reason I call myself a modern day philosopher,) yet - I need to just chillax and enjoy the ride.
I think I mentioned in a previous post that I decided to sit down and read Ecclesiastes. Yesterday I finished the book and it really taught me an important lesson - It's all meaningless. LOL No, No.. I don't quite mean it like that.. Let's see if I can explain what I learned:
- We should enjoy our work. But work becomes meaningless if we try to use it to make sense out of life. Only God can give true meaning to all our activities "under the sun."
- Knowing that God is in control should give us a new, hopeful perspective that looks beyond the bounds of our natural world and enables us to cope with the difficulties of life.
- Only by trusting God and obeying his will can we find meaningful direction and joy in life.
- Only God can give us strength and purpose for a meaningful life. We need to trust him and patiently follow his plan revealed in the Bible.
- that living for personal success will ultimately cause us to come up empty.
-Someone who enjoys life as God's good gift will be rewarded. This includes enjoying our work while not allowing it to become the key to meaning in our lives.
- to take life less seriously and enjoy it more. Life is too short to waste it on the treadmill of the ever-increasing, professional accomplishments. We need to take time to enjoy the gifts that God gives us.
- We can't always understand why things happen the way they do.
- God sees the underside and the topside of our life's pattern. We must not let the things we can't understand- the knots and the loose ends of life - drag us down. God tells us enough in the Bible to direct us to a life filled with joy and meaning.
- Supportive friendships are absolutely necessary for our spiritual growth. When we fall down, we need help getting up again.We must learn to trust others, to reach out to others and to admit our need for support.
-The alternative to materialism is a celebration of the beauty of God's gift of life and its simple pleasures. If we are content with what we have, we need very little material wealth to really enjoy life.
-The celebration and enjoyment of life are extremely important.
- Doing things God's way will lead us to live in harmony with him. God is in control. By trusting him and obeying his Word, we can live productive and joyful lives. Living at odds with God's plan will ultimately only hurt us.
- Do not be so caught up in religious things that we miss what's going on around us. We must always be careful to keep in touch with the concerns and needs of others.
-Most importantly (the one point I needed) - We are advised not to trouble our minds with problems we cannot solve. We will never have the whole picture. Only God can understand the reasons behind everything, we need to only trust him.
I guess at the end of the day, Ecclesiastes taught me that our relationship with God is foundational for coping with life in a messed up world. Life is filled with ambiguity; there are so many things I will never understand. But God sees the big picture; he knows what will happen in the future. If I follow his plan - obeying his commandments with his help - I will discover that joy I often write about admist all of the ambuguity.