And the answer is…Ecclesiastes
We humans have a hard time proportioning life. What I mean is that it seems we’re forever looking, forever waiting for life to begin. We’ve all this angst when we’re young about career and marriage. We run to seminars and make these subjects the topic of a fair bit of teaching in the Christian community along with a mainstay over a pint (or a Pepsi for the theologically ‘dry’). Then we get those things settled, and we have angst about financial security and the well being and success of our offspring. Thus do we spend our middle years running a taxi service to endless events in hopes that our kids will be well rounded enough to gain admission into a good college, even as we work hard for promotions in order to assure our own well being. As the clock keeps ticking, we slowly begin to gain new anxieties, now about health care, retirement, and aging parents.
But somewhere along the way in this journey, a meaning crisis bursts forth. whereby we look around at what we're doing and wonder if it has any meaning. Or perhaps, if it is meaningful for the moment, we're struck by the temporality of it all and the inevitability of loss. For me, such a crisis (in mini proportion) happened the other day while skiing. I was looking around at the incredible beauty of the landscape, my eyes scanning the horizon to ingest the glories of Shuksan, Sefrit,
Skiing down offered no time for reflection, but soon I was on the way back up again, and I begin to pray. A song came to mind from the band
I went home that night and read Ecclesiastes from cover to cover, something I’d not done in years. What a joy – what a blessing – what a straight up assessment of life under the sun, filled with practical counsel along the way. I’ve determined to study it thoroughly and teach through it, either in the fall of 07 or the winter of 08. If anyone knows of good resources that would be helpful, please advise. In the meantime…“whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going…” Carpe Diem.