It’s been said that before the teacher teaches, she (or he) must first learn.
I’ve been studying the book of Ecclesiastes recently in preparation to teach at Refuge in May. I was drawn to this book because of one verse I haven’t been able to get out of my mind:
says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless.”
Apparently, as I’ve been studying this verse, it’s context and background, I have had some learning to do.
In the past week, I have spent more time stressing about all the work I have to do than actually doing the work. Our roof started to leak during the rain. Our car got broken into right outside our home, in the middle of the day, and the third row of our vehicle was taken. The next day, as I was rushing to get my kids to school, I cut into a parking spot too early and took the entire front bumper off another person’s car. And today, my iPhone fell in the toilet. Yes, in the toilet.
Bear with me. I fully realize these issues probably are meaningless to the parent who is struggling to guide their child through illness. They pale in comparison to the woman who cries herself to sleep at night because her husband is not coming home. The person who is struggling to find a job is probably wishing they had work to be stressed about. The things I’ve lost have all been material. But the events of the past week have pushed me to examine how tightly I hold on to the things of this world. I’ve been asking myself, do I really believe that everything is meaningless?
Solomon lived a lavish life. In addition to the wisdom he was given by God, he was given excessive wealth, women and resources. However, what he discovered was the more he got, the less satisfaction he had and the less it all meant. The end of the matter, as he says, all that has meaning is to “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the [whole] duty of every human being.”
How have you discovered meaning through the trials you are facing?