Monday, July 11, 2011

Meaning in a Meaningless World

I believe very strongly in working smarter, not harder. I am not afraid of hard work nor do I find it particularly unpleasant, in fact I enjoy work. But I absolutely hate wasting my time. Some might think some things I do is a waste of time, but if it refreshes and renews me I do not consider it a waste, so to each his own. So I suppose it follows that since I do not want to waste my efforts, I am continually coming back to what the true definition of success is to me, what my greatest purpose is. So I find it astounding how often I am slowly diverted from what my true focus ought to be.

At this moment Ecclesiastes stands out to me like a Vegas billboard. The book, written by Solomon the wisest man to ever live, says in a nutshell, that everything under the sun, anything you can put your hand to or pursue, is without meaning. All is futile, worthless, and beyond comprehension. Pursuing wisdom and knowledge will only make you more aware of the sorrow and grief of life, pleasure will leave you empty and hollow, power and wealth are pointless, in short there is no point. Not exactly encouraging or cheering words, and certainly nothing the suicide hotline has on their list of recommended reading, even going so far as to say “the day you die is better than the day you are born” (7:1) and yet… the final chapter begs to reader to remember God while they are still young. Each and every chapter ends with the thought that after the author had come to the end of himself, God was there. Through God meaning was found and peace came.
In chapter 5 Solomon extols us to keep our ears open and our mouths shut when we come before God, for He is in heaven and we are earth (His wisdom is beyond our grasp), so let our words be few. Too much activity gives you restless dreams, and too many words make you a fool. I am reminded of a bit of wisdom my favorite cowgirl philosopher, Gladiola Montana wrote, “Occasional flashes of silence can be mistaken for brilliance.” Looking back over everything I hear God say to me, He is forever telling me shut my mouth and listen to Him for a change.

During a recent conversation where the topic was “what word did you choose to define your year,” when my turn came, since I don’t do new year’s resolutions, I chose what the year has brought to me thus far, both where I have succeeded and failed, and said diligence for my defining word. Diligence, according to Mister Webster is persevering application, or to be diligent is to be steady, unceasing, and relentless. To complete what you sent out to do, and to pursue one’s goals with single mindedness. In a great many ways I have been diligent, in my studies, work, commitments, and responsibilities. Yet I find that in the way which matters most, which will follow me through this life and into the next, I have failed. The relationship which matters most (and if you know me well, you know I value relationships above all else), my relationship with my creator has been shifted from the primary position because of other responsibilities.

Earlier this year a prophetic benediction was spoken over me, a love letter to me from God.
The preciousness of your heart is a blessing to God. You are called to walk in authority and power and intimacy. I see and I know what I put within you that will come forth in a greater power than what you know. Because I have called you to walk in the direction of My power and yes, I have called you to a higher place but only to me, because I am jealous of your attention. Feel My heart beat and you will be tuned in to My voice to know in a greater way that is My choice; because you have done what I called you to do. Get ready, for I have shown you things you have not seen before and I will show you strange and different paths to take and they all lead to Me. What I want you to be in constant fellowship with Me.

Every time I read this I find myself laughing, because I had been beating myself up, saying I am a horrible Christian, I don’t spend nearly enough time in God’s Word. Over and over in this He calls come spend time with me, I want you to be with me. Yet from God it comes as a caress, gentle and drawing, not guilty or like a slap on the hand as it does from my own mind. Lord, teach me to speak in such a way!

So the only real point is God. Everything begins and comes back around to Him. Any meaning we are to find will come from knowing him. Anything which distracts us from Him, not matter how good it may be, church work, school, anything which usurps His place as first in our lives, ceases to be good. Maybe it takes major life changes to fix; maybe it only takes a shift in awareness.

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