I havenâ€™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, likeâ€¦ do I really have anything to say? Does anybody out there even care about what I say? Andâ€¦ remind me again why Iâ€™m doing this?
Iâ€™ve been in a funk about life in general, and I think Iâ€™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.
Itâ€™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 Iâ€™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. Itâ€™s been awhile since I read it, and I certainly didnâ€™t take the time for seminary-level research, but I was reminded of a few good things:
â€œThere 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 Himâ€ (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25)?
â€œOne hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after windâ€ (4:6).
â€œGuard 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 evilâ€ (5:1).
â€œHere is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all oneâ€™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 rewardâ€ (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 Godâ€™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…”
Thank you, Jenn. This was exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. And your writing means a lot to me.
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.
Amen sister Jen! And yes we appriciate your blogging. Where else am I going to find such snarky wit around here??
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.