Sunday, July 07, 2013

Life is hevel !

I'm glad I taught the Wisdom Books of the Hebrew Bible this past Spring.

They remind me of life's complexity - and sometimes of life's utter meaninglessness. 

In my instruction, I teach how our world tells us "Life is hell" - and how the author of Ecclesiastes tells us "Life is hevel" (Where hevel is the Hebrew word used that is translated as "meaningless" "vapor" "vanity" "mist" "elusive" "transient" "breath" in the book of Ecclesiastes.)

In the past few days - and even in the past few hours - I've had to give up on some specific hopes and dreams I have had.  It comes with great pain.  In some ways it is nice to be reminded, from the Book of Ecclesiastes, that it's all hevel "meaningless."

It is nice to be reminded that I should enjoy my life, with my spouse, whom I love - all the hevel "transient" and hevel "elusive" days that I have - for life is but a hevel "vapor" under the unrelenting sun here on earth.  And this is better than death!  So says Ecclesiastes 9:9-10

But, it is also not fun to realize that sometimes in life we have to give-up on things and quit some things - that we don't want to give up on or quit - because according to Ecclesiastes 9:11, "I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all."

Time and chance happen to them all!?!?  Ugh!

May it be the case that Ecclesiastes 12:13 is also correct:  "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone."

I'll try to stick to that - keeping commands to love God and love others - in the midst of the hevel "mist" of this hevel "meaninglessness."

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