Sunday, June 27, 2010

Project 4:4--Day One Hundred Fifty-One

Day One Hundred Fifty-One, Ecclesiastes

Today's reading contains the last (and in my opinion, the best) portions of Ecclesiastes.

I love the passage about balance and timing in life:

“There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”

I also love the passage with the advice to remember the Lord in your youth:
“Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—
before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when men rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;
when men are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags himself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then man goes to his eternal home
and mourners go about the streets.”

The best part of Ecclesiastes is the very end, where—after everything has been discussed and it has been discovered just how empty and futile everything in this life is—here we find the answer to that ultimate question:
“Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.”

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