Welcome to another semi-regular reoccurring post entitled, #TheoThursday. These posts will examine the intersection of faith and career. The goal is for the reader to come away with new appreciation for how relevant the Bible is to their life.
Disclaimer: The Bible is misinterpreted all the time. Not only does misinterpretation cause harm, it also sways people’s opinion about God, and all things spiritual. Sadly, the worst offenders are often those claiming to be knowledgeable. Therefore, I make no such claims. Back up anything I say in these posts with the Bible, and commentaries from trained theologians (don’t worry, we aren’t going that deep!). Further, I highly encourage anyone interested in learning more about the Bible to checkout these resources:
The Bible Savvy Journal and Reading Schedule turned to the book of Ecclesiastes this week. Therefore, I spent about 45 minutes on Saturday morning studying the context of the book (reading the Introduction in my NIV Study Bible, and watching the Bible Project intro video). What struck me was the Hebrew word “Hevel.” This word has many meanings in the English language (vapor, futile, meaningless, etc.), but it seems to be most often translated to “meaningless” in Ecclesiastes.
For example, arguably the most famous passage in Ecclesiastes, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
I have thought about this reality a lot lately.
The teacher is not saying that everything is meaningless.
Our jobs, for instance, have meaning. Even the plastic parts we produce have meaning.
But, like a cloud, their meaning is momentary. Here today, and gone tomorrow.
Darker is the reality that none of our accomplishments will last forever. In the book, the teacher reminds us that we will eventually die and leave everything behind for others. “Hevel,” he cries! This is humbling when you spend your day working at the business your now departed grandfather created…
My time will eventually come too, I just hope the Bears win the Super Bowl again before that time (keep your comments to yourself Mark).
As the Cubs taught me in 2016, even that is Hevel.
Two weeks ago, our pastor, Jim, pointed out that pursuing wisdom, pleasure, or work for their own ends leads to Hevel. Like sand, we cannot grasp these things for long. They quickly sink through our fingertips.
So, where does that leave us?
Pastor Jim closed with this point over the weekend, “fear God and enjoy the ride.” His can’t miss talk discussed the reality of this broken world, and how often it feels like “God is not in control.” Yet, we are told to trust him anyway.
Ups and downs will come in our personal life, and in our business life. That’s just the reality in a broken world.
But, there is hope.
I don’t have the answers to the tougher questions of life. I can attest, however, to the reality that my life is better when I fear God (another way of saying obey, have reverence for, am in awe of, and submit to). It is in these times that I am not chasing after the mist – Hevel – because I no longer have to.
I am content.
Therefore, fear God and enjoy the ride.
Prayer Request – Please join me in praying for all those impacted by the tragedy at the Pittsburgh Synagogue last Saturday morning. Pray that God provides peace that surpasses all human understanding. I stand with my Jewish brothers and sisters.