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.”

Breaking Radio Silence

Oh, hello there.

Brief recap of what did and did not happen this wonderful, phenomenal Winter Break.

  • We hosted Christmas for April’s family. Eric got into town a few days early, with the rest here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The day after Christmas, we traveled to St. Louis, and then visited Piedmont the day after the day after Christmas.
  • I got some awesome gifts. Now, Christmas isn’t about gifts, and what we really loved was having the chance to spend lots of time with our family. But it cannot be denied that I also played Dragon Age: Origins for about 60 hours this week. It may be the best game I have played in the last 6-8 years.
  • I didn’t write a whole lot. I was stymied on the story I wanted to write, and didn’t feel like I could write anything else until I made progress on it. That was stupid of me. I should have dropped it and done other things, coming back to it once I had something to write, but I got stalled and played Dragon Age instead. For what it’s worth, I finally found the idea I needed to drive the story forward, but it’s a bit late now.
  • I have had the best week of vacation ever.
  • Finally finished our D&D campaign. Not that it has comprised too many game sessions, but between us we have so many scheduling conflicts that we end up only playing about once a month. Since I’d originally intended this campaign to be 15 games, I had to revamp it and cut it short–we’d already been playing it over six months and it was getting old. Really looking forward to the next (much, much shorter) story arc.
  • April and I celebrated our second anniversary, somewhat to our surprise. Not that we’re surprised we lasted two years, because it’s been a pretty blessed and easy two years. It just came up on us fast. Totally awesome. We stayed in Springfield and saw local touristy things, like Bass Pro and fancy restaurants and little shops we never visit. Good times.
  • Snow!
  • Seriously, such a good week.

I don’t even feel [too] bad about not writing. April made the excellent observation that I really oughtn’t put a ton of pressure on myself to get everything done and caught up in the one week I have off a year. I should enjoy the time instead, and work harder to build writing time into my daily schedule instead of forcing a lot of it into this week. I was gratified by this and went right on playing Dragon Age.

I’ve got nothing prepped for this week, so I don’t know what the publishing schedule will be like. Need to get my sea legs back under me, so to speak. For the first time in six months, though, I do not dread going to work tomorrow. I had an amazingly productive end-of-the-semester and got everything done that I wanted to get done. There’s nothing really hanging over my head tomorrow. I have lots of good stuff to report. All-in-all, things are looking up.