Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Fleeting Life

This summer I had a great privilege to take part in a memoir class. I loved writing about my past. It was so cathartic. Memories that had been stuffed down, actually lying in my brain dormant, surfaced again as my fingers hit the keys. Good times, bad times, things I wished had never happened all came back in a flood. And then I began rummaging through the pictures I had always said I was going to get organized. I was going to, yet I never did.

Actually many of those precious Kodak moments lay in my attic in the corner, in the very back, forgotten, until I was on my memoir quest. Suddenly, they became very important. Learning how to scan them into my computer and then into my stories, those pictures came alive again for me. I wrote about college days, about passing my boards, getting my lifeguarding certification, hey, I even wrote my very first memory. My mother confirmed that it, indeed, had really happened.

When I was a baby in Christ and I read the book of Ecclesiastes I was totally depressed. Why did the Preacher write in the second verse: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity(?) Who was God to allow God to make life so fleeting like that? I remember I questioned that after I had given birth to my first child. I didn't understand the point of the book.

If life was so transient, then what was the point of life? The point is given after the Preacher had experienced all the pleasures of life and found them meaningless.

Eccles. 2: 10
"Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.
I did not withhold from my heart any pleasure,
For my heart rejoiced in my labor;
And this was my reward from all my labor.
Then I looked on all the works my hands had done
And on the labor in which I had toiled;
And indeed it was all vanity and grasping for the wind.
There was no profit under the sun."

Now, as I look back on the faded pictures I see that life is a vapor. I was a girl. It seemed I would never grow up. My mother said, "You have your whole life ahead of you."

Now, that life is at least half gone. The faded pictures are memories. Then the Preacher is right if this life is all there is. But at the end, the Preacher too, comes to wisdom and says:

Eccles. 12: 13

"Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.
For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil."

Finally, the one commandment He wants us to obey, or "work: today, which is answered here:

John 6: 28-29

Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them, " This is the work of God, that you may believe in Him whom He sent."

Then life will not be vanity, but will suddenly have new meaning, destiny and purpose...

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