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Category Archives: Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 4:4-6

4 Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

5 “Fools fold their idle hands,
leading them to ruin.”

6 And yet,

“Better to have one handful with quietness
than two handfuls with hard work
and chasing the wind.”
Ecclesiastes 4:4-6

Dear God, this kind of follows up on yesterday’s prayer. I heard it in an Andy Stanley sermon I listened to while I was on a bike ride last night. I wonder at what point Solomon emerged from this wisdom of pitying the oppressed and into being an oppressor. I was watching an interview with a movie star this morning and she mentioned that she had won her first major award at 26. She was young and pretty. But then, as she put it, people started to “remove obstacles” from her and she began to take advantage of being a star. Her father sat down with her at one point and told her, you’re becoming an ***hole. She said that she is now a believer in all of our need to have obstacles in front of us. It seems to me that she might be right in that the removal of obstacles from Solomon’s life became a detriment to the wisest man who ever lived.

All of that being said, there is a great message in these verses. When my drive for success is motivated by jealousy of and competition with others, then I will absolutely be chasing the wind. As Andy Stanley put it in the sermon, someone will always have an “er” over me. They will be smart-er, cut-er, rich-er, happi-er. They will have more successful children, better jobs, prettier homes, more fulfilling marriages, or whatever. I can’t chase them all. Better to focus on you and your call to me while ignoring all others. Following your call is the best way to find my contentment. Chasing the perceived success of someone else will only lead to exhaustion and emptiness.

Father, help me to be peacefully quiet. Help me to embrace all that you have for me today. Help me to bless others for their success and to care more about their peace and contentment than I do what they have that I don’t have. Help me to be an instrument of your peace in their lives.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2019 in Ecclesiastes

 

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Ecclesiastes 11:5

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.

Ecclesiastes 11:5

Dear God, I admit to you that I don’t understand what you’re doing at any given time. And I don’t know as much about even myself as you know. But to my credit, I think I’m getting more comfortable with that. You’re slowly teaching me to lean into my ignorance and accept your unseen path.

I’m thinking this morning about a funeral for a young woman who died suddenly last week. I saw her parents last Sunday, four days after it happened. Oh, it was heartbreaking. I cannot imagine their pain. I don’t know how they could update possibly make sense of anything in their lives right now. They heard me preach on Sunday and as I spoke I measured every word against how they must be hearing it, but I can’t imagine they will even remember that much from Sunday except that they were with their fellow church members.

Father, we’ve actually lost several young people lately. One from a health issue, one from suicide, and two others from a car accident. There’s no way to explain or justify any of it. And then there are the things in my own path that I just don’t understand. Help me to find my way to you and then guide me in each moment so that I might find the correct things to do that will maximize my effectiveness for you and experience your presence.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2018 in Ecclesiastes