Yesterday, I was complaining to my husband how the most exciting part of my day was wearing real pants and going to Victoria’s six month appointment. Oh, and making homemade iced coffee.
I was disappointed because I had to cancel an exciting outing to the post office to buy stamps, because Tori wasn’t having it after her shots. Meaning buying stamps would have to be pushed to another day, pushing back the project I needed the stamps for another day with another errand with kids who were cooperative today, but may not be tomorrow. Yay. #momlife
We speak mostly in gifs while Joe is at work and after going back and forth for awhile, he sent me this one:
Always opening the door, always a door to be opened. I replied, “That’s pretty much #momlife.” And Joe responded with, “maybe mom’s need to read more Ecclesiastes.”
“All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
So I sat down and read the whole book of Ecclesiastes. At first glance, it all seems to say, “It’s all meaningless, all of life is utterly vain and then you die. Doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, wise or foolish, lazy or diligent in your work, in the end you’re going to die and you won’t be here to see the fruit or effect of your life’s work.”
Sounds uplifting, doesn’t it? An anthem for the long days that seem to suck the life out of you.
Enjoy your life, because in the words of the great Johnny Cash, “sooner or later God’s gonna cut you down.”
But with a closer look—a gospel look—the Preacher ends with “the end of the matter; all has been heard” (Ecc. 12:13a). We know how this life ends. This earth is passing away and we are but a mist, a vapor, like the dust to which we’ll return.
But for a believer, death is not the end but the beginning of a great new adventure,
“The death of the righteous, that is, of every believing and repentant sinner, is a most excellent blessing of God.”
What about today? I’m not dying. (Lord, willing.) Amid lukewarm coffee, sleep deprivation, uncertainty, monotony, chores, and a life that feels like you’re just opening a door to find one more closed, what do these ecclesiastical lamentations mean?
“Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13b
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the Prophets.
Yes, life feels futile. Yes, life is repetitive. Yes, the daily details are quite often boring. All our accomplishments will soon fade, our castles in the sand will wash away. Any hope we have in our work or riches or position will not sustain us.
But put your hope in the Lord “where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Mt. 6:20).
Fear God. Serve Him. Love others.
Life is full of hard, boring, dull, tiresome days. We wipe tables, wash dishes, attend one more pointless meeting, start another load of laundry, call another client, hold babies who won’t sleep, and reheat that cold cup of coffee for a third time.
Life is full of beautiful, surprising, joyous days. Saturday morning family cuddles, surprise visits from friends, a finished cup of coffee, the beauty of community, foggy sunrises, peonies in full bloom,
In all the days—the mundane, heartbreaking, and glorious—fear God, love him, and love others. This life will soon pass by, but if the Lord is our God, even the days we want to throw up our hands and shout, “Meaningless! It’s all meaningless!” even those days are an opportunity to love God and love others.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last,
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.
- C.T. Studd,