No one has the authority over the wind to restrain it, and there is no authority over the day of death…
King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 8:8
I love King Solomon. That guy had it right, this life is like a chasing after the wind.
My mother’s home is about 45 minutes away from my own. The audio book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible is a few minutes shy of that same time. The summer before my mother died I made that drive almost every single day and I bet I listened to the book of Ecclesiastes 15 or 20 times.
At first it was depressing. Did you know King Solomon uses the word “meaningless” to describe this life about 37 times in the 12 chapter volume? Wealth, knowledge, possessions, influence, life, folly, pleasure…all meaningless. A chasing after the wind.
At first I became despondent as I listened to the constant drumbeat in the futility of life.
Have you ever sat along a soft sandy beach watching low waves that continuously reach for the shoreline? Over and again swirling, bubbling, pushing, but never really breaking through an imaginary line in the sand before the tides pull them back out to sea building energy for yet another gentle grasp at the shore.
This is life. It’s beautiful sometimes. Light dances along the tiny rippling peaks of shimmering water like diamonds at sunset. At other times the harsh sun-glare reflection burns your eyes and you shield them behind tinted glass to diffuse the glare. We all need a good pair of sunglasses in our bag.
But then somewhere along the road to my mother’s country home my vision began to shift. Life isn’t meaningless exactly. It’s what we THINK life is about that has no meaning. Pursuit of education, accumulation of wealth, Saturdays at the mall or the game or the backyard bar-b-que.
But then if those things don’t really have true meaning, what about me? I must certainly matter, right? You know what? I do. But not in the way that I’ve always supposed.
As a dutiful Christian I already know I need to serve my fellow man. I mean, of course I do, the New Testament is full of references to loving and serving others. But we haven’t even all been given the opportunity to do that, so even that can’t be the entire purpose of life.
What is the one thing we each can do? We exist. And we matter because we exist. The baby lost in the mother’s womb, for whom no first breath will ever come, matters. Tremendously.
When God creates our bodies He breathes into us the breath of life, and I believe breath of life is our spirit not the first breaths we take outside the womb. Babies in the womb have been caught on video smiling, laughing, having hiccups. At that moment we have purpose. A destiny to fulfill. Wealth accumulation is irrelevant unless wealth is required to fulfill our purpose. In which case, we’ll have it if we learn to hear God’s voice and get on His path.
So then what do we do? We trust God. We do whatever it takes to learn to hear His voice. And we let go all our expectations and along with them disillusionments and failures because now we recognize we failed because we weren’t pursuing our destiny. We weren’t wired to be successful in that thing. We are free!
Free to follow our hearts, free to love others freely knowing they too have their own destinies to pursue.
As a mother, this gift of reality paradigm shift could not possibly have come at a better time.
I have 3 different children of 3 different abilities and natural talents and I no longer feel responsible to attempt vainly shoving and pushing and prodding them into Western society’s mold of useful life.
My high schooler with terrible grades? I’m free to love him unconcerned and look for his areas of brilliance to help him pursue ONLY his God-given gifting and talents. And work on self discipline towards achievement of course, but let go the agony when best efforts pull short. The straight-A athletic child is not the family poster child and the life of my oldest and all the limitations Autism attempts to inflict has as significant and valuable a destiny as any material accomplishments her younger siblings can possibly pursue. Anybody who has met her can tell you that’s true, her spirit literally radiates God’s love. Would that the other two could develop such a gift.
You really can love your neighbor as yourself because you can understand what God has always known. Our spirits are the reflection and image of God. All the limitations imposed by biology, sociology and birthright are meaningless. A mere shadow of who we actually are.
But what has happened TO that spirit as a result of these things, THAT is where my fascination lies. Is there a way to cast off some of the shackles life or ignorance or circumstance have imposed? I feel like the pursuit of that knowledge is tied to my destiny.
So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 4:18
We are ever grateful for Your powerful Word that endures forever and sets the captives free. Bless us to be free in our hearts, free to love, free to redefine our lives according to Your will and not vanity. Free to see through the packaging life has created around the lives of our fellow men to the spirits You have created with purpose and destiny. Help us realize that we are truly all in this together and bless us to get on our path and achieve excellence in the areas where you have created us to shine. Help us bring all those in our sphere of influence up just a little higher so they can feel the warmth and power of Your love piercing the darkest corners of their lives.
We love You,
And ask for these favors and blessings in the holy name of Jesus Christ
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