Sometimes it feels like all my efforts are for nothing. Do you ever have days like that? Surely the writer of Ecclesiastes and I can’t be the only ones who sometimes wonder, “what’s the point?”
I weed the flowerbed. And the weeds grow back. I work all week on a sermon. And Monday I have to start over. People I pray for get sick, then better, then sick again. Father’s day comes around again and I miss my dad so much. My hopes for a world of peace shrivel up in the chaos of gunfire on the news.
I’m glad these moods don’t hit me too often. But I’m glad they hit me sometimes, because they are a good reminder of my lack of control over most things. And that helps me (when I don’t sink too deep into the despair) to turn over the big stuff to God. All I have to do, I keep telling myself, is plant my little seeds. God gives the growth.
One thing that helps me come out of a wind-spitting mood is noticing life. And here’s where I’m noticing it today. Our youth group is heading out soon on an adventure into new territory, where we’ll wonder about the presence of the Holy Spirit in crowds, skyscrapers, homelessness, Hinduism, and boring physical labor. I am eager to experience these things with our insightful young people.
You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. Follow the impulses of your heart. Eccl. 11:9
Another place I’m noticing beauty is in the way Melvin Ruzicka keeps loving us, even after his death. His gifts to the Jubilee and the Melvin and Viola Ruzicka endowment funds give us a financial base that allows us to move with confidence toward our mission. It’s no small thing to think about one’s legacy and then act on it.
Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night. Eccl. 11:2
So let me close with a few more words from Ecclesiastes. (If you’re ever in a spitty mood, I highly recommend this book.)
Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it. Eccl. 12:6-7
Living the lovely life with you,