Is it Meaningless?It’s one of those weeks where my thoughts get jumbled in the emotional end-of-the-year chaos, for many reasons. Holidays can tend to make me unstable and random. My normal ADD seems to be worse than usual. I dive into something. I immerse myself in some project that completely distracts me from the dark emptiness trying to creep into my soul.

Last week’s blog, ’Tis the Season, addressed a little of how people treat the holidays less like a special time and more like an excuse to become especially shallow.

I have the opposite problem. My holidays are spent in a deep, deep place. A place of perspective, which normally would be a positive thing, but, with full disclosure, Ecclesiastes repeating theme becomes very real to me. “Everything is meaningless… everything is meaningless…”

The Ecclesiastes 1 and 2 subtitles in the NIV say, in this order, that “everything, wisdom, pleasures, folly, and toil” are all meaningless.

It doesn’t really leave much to have meaning.

 

 

It’s easy to realize that’s all too true, but forget its real meaning.

I work hard to make money to eat and support my family, but my toil doesn’t change who God is.

I seek out entertainment, happiness, and fulfillment, but those pleasures don’t change who God is.

 

I make good and bad decisions all the time. I meet people more happy than me, and I meet someone significantly more sad. People who avoid consequences, and people who are destroyed by their mistakes. But neither their indiscretion nor their ignorance can change who God is.

And then I read Ecclesiastes 3, and the familiar tune of The Byrds 1965 hit Turn! Turn Turn! fills my head.

a time to be born and a time to die,
…to plant and to uproot,

…to kill and a time to heal,
…to tear down and to build,

…to weep and to laugh,
…to mourn and to dance,

…to scatter stones and to gather them,
…to embrace and to refrain from embracing,

…to search and to give up,
…to keep and to throw away,

…to tear and to mend,
…to be silent and to speak,

…to love and to hate,
…for war and for peace.

– Ecc. 3:2-8

Death and tears make us despair. Hate and war and destruction can make us abandon hope of light ever penetrating our darkness. We let go of hugs, we stay silent when we want to scream.We ruin our collection by tossing its stones into the lake.

 

Everyone is in a season, and that season has a purpose.

Phillip Phillips’ Home speaks these powerful words into our season of hardship:

Hold on, to me as we go

As we roll down this unfamiliar road

And although this wave is stringing us along

…The trouble it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found…

Just know you’re not alone

Cause I’m gonna make this place your home.

In the middle of our grief we can take refuge in a God who, by His very nature, can overwhelm the meaning of pain and tears and death taking hold of your life. And after a time, and a season, the bad will no longer define you, and it will be replaced with a holy peace that only He can deliver. You can be at home within the season of our life.

Prayers and Blessings,

The RYM Team