Striving After the Wind…

I haven’t felt much like writing lately. Can you tell? This blog has taken a turn toward online photo journaling and reports of what I did yesterday, more akin to my journaling style of junior high.

Many questions are in my mind, like… do I really have anything to say? Does anybody out there even care about what I say? And… remind me again why I’m doing this?

I’ve been in a funk about life in general, and I think I’ve finally put my finger on it. After a friend left this morning I was sitting in my Thinking Chair contemplating the laundry and the lunch that needed to be made, and I found myself wondering, What Is The Point? Why Do I Bother? And so forth. I had fallen into the Black Hole of Purposelessness we all fall into from time to time, whether we are stay at home moms, working moms, college students or career women.

I found myself staring at all these trees, yet completely missing the forest.

It’s easy to lose motivation for doing the laundry if your only motivation is so your family has clean clothes. Hell, I can certainly wear the same clothes for days on end and turn my underwear inside out for double the inventory, but does that serve the greater purpose I’ve chosen in my life? Does that glorify God?

I decided to draw inspiration from Ecclesiastes, since Solomon also struggled with the meaning of life. It’s been awhile since I read it, and I certainly didn’t take the time for seminary-level research, but I was reminded of a few good things:

“There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen, that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him” (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25)?

“One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind” (4:6).

“Guard your steps as you go to the house of God, and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil” (5:1).

“Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward” (Ecclesiastes 5:18).

I find much comfort in completing tasks. It gives me purpose. I can see results. But it is easier for me to find more joy in COMPLETING a task than it is for me to find worship in DOING the task. Hence, the easy burnout when I find myself completing the same task over and over again.

Today I am reminding myself that all work is futile unless I enjoy the work in God’s presence. I am reminding myself that my sacrifice of work is foolish unless I am drawing near to God and enjoying his presence. And finally, that in laziness I will perish, and that working too much is vanity, but a healthy balance of rest and work is good.

4 thoughts on “Striving After the Wind…”

  1. As a task-completer myself, I can totally understand. I get frustrated that my job is the same as it was a year ago, even though it’s a pretty good job. I get annoyed that I haven’t knocked off more of the books on my shelf waiting to be read, despite enjoying the one I’m reading. Reading your post, I got a little bit of a feeling that maybe that’s not the way it should be.

  2. I say brilliantly stated. I needed that reminder today myself as I was griping about how messy the house is, how I “have” to do laundry, etc…If it weren’t for my family, my house wouldn’t be so messy. If it weren’t for my kids, there wouldn’t be so much laundry. I am truely blessed and you reminded me of that this evening when reading your blog. Thank you. Once again, your writing gives me a little (and sometimes big) kick in the butt.

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