Jiving with the book Ecclesiastes

Most of what we do in this life isn’t all that important. In the thousands of years of human existence, and the hopefully thousands more to come, our actions are lost in a sea of the mundane. In the millions of years our earth has existed and the hopefully tens of millions more, what I do today has little significance.

I don’t find this thought depressing or discouraging. Instead, it helps me prioritize things differently. The way I see it, there are three types of people in this world in regards to having life goals: those who give themselves a mission, those whose actions just happen to serve a mission, and those who have no mission. Those who give themselves missions tend to develop something of a messiah complex, believing that they are responsible for doing what needs done and for changing the world as it needs to be changed. I’d rather be part of the second group of people, who just do what they would normally do, and upon whom history reflects positively because their actions were good ones. I want to try to do good, to help others, and to live a life holy and pleasing to God. I hope that this is enough.

But I don’t want to stress about “my mission.” Instead, I want to enjoy the sunshine and a well lit pipe. I want to fully experience the love of my wife, and the end of good books. I want to share food  and laughs with my friends. I want to do good, but not at the expense of this world. That sentence isn’t quite right, so let me try again: I don’t want to be trying so hard to see God that I squinch up my eyes from trying and can no longer see him or the blessings he has given me.

I feel good about what I’ve been doing, though a part of me (a part that is getting smaller; I think this is part of me getting healthier) still rails at my slowness and lack of accomplishment and wants me to push myself to do more. I like the essay I wrote this weekend, and I’ve enjoyed playing Dragon Age some more. I’ve drank lots of good coffee. I’ve taken two walks and enjoyed them.

Today, I did not feel like the Questor’s shouts of, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” was a pessimistic, terrible statement. I’ve never really felt that way, but today I understood why. Today, I felt freed by this thought. “Stop trying so hard to please God. God is already pleased because you love him and have chosen to spend your life doing your best for him. You’re already there: enjoy it.”

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