July 25

Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14

“it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with. I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.” vss. 13b-14

The book of Ecclesiastes is known as Wisdom Literature and found its way into the Hebrew Scriptures as a series of reflections and proverbs reflecting our human experience in the world. For the most part, the Teacher, or Qoheleth, tells it like it is, and doesn’t bother to sugarcoat life, and some readers are put off by its somewhat negative conclusions, but others find it refreshing. The Teacher is absolutely right about the business of life in this world. So much of it is pointless and a chasing after the wind, but it’s what we do, and we keep on doing it. We might even say that life itself is insanity, doing the same pointless thing over and over again, and each time expecting some different result. Many, by hard work or luck, attain temporal fame and wealth, and discover they’re still anxious and afraid. Their gains have not brought peace or serenity. And ultimately all they’ve earned or hoarded is taken away. Others have learned that there is another way, and they have devoted themselves, not to busyness, but to simply being. They don’t seek to accumulate but are content with smelling the roses along the way. And that just might be the key to joyful living! 

Thought for the Day: What keeps me busy?

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