“Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun; I saw the tears of the oppressed—and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—and they have no comforter.”
~ Ecclesiastes 4:1
Hi James and Ellen,
Which one of these two sayings – ‘the best is yet to come’ or ‘life is not fair’ resonates with you the most? If you are an optimist, you believe that tomorrow is going to be a better day than today and that the day after tomorrow is going to be an even better day. If you are a pessimist, you believe that everyone and everything is against you. Are you an optimist or a realist or are you a pessimist or a cynic? Your grandmaa tends towards being an optimist – as she usually looks at life through a positive lens. Your grandpaa tends towards being a pessimist – as he usually looks at life through a negative grid. The guy who scribed the Ecclesiastes Book – who quite probably was King Solomon, seems to have become a consummate pessimist. The guy who scribed the Ecclesiastics Book had come to believe through the various experiences that he had in his own life that ‘life is not fair’. Ecclesiastes 4 is the continuance of a ‘poor me’ saga by a teacher type guy who is scribing about how meaningless life has been to him. The guy who scribed the Ecclesiastes Book had watched a guy toiling really hard and achieving a lot while he heard the same guy saying that the reason that he was working so hard and accomplishing so much was because he really thought that if he could accumulate a lot of wealth, that having a lot of wealth would be the key to making him happy. The guy who scribed the Ecclesiastes Book heard this same guy say that he had deprived himself – because of having spent all of his time slaving away by himself in his fields, of the joy that life maybe would have offered him. The guy who scribed the Ecclesiastes Book also saw the jealousy that some guys had of what their neighbors had resulting in the guys spending all their time slaving in their fields so that they could do better than their neighbors. The guy who scribed the Ecclesiastes Book identified with hard working guys chasing after the wind and living miserable lives.
Do you have friends? What does it mean to you to be a friend to another kid? What does it mean to you to have another kid be your friend? A friend will be a strength for you to be process through a life lesson. A friend will help you get up after a life lesson has knocked you down. A friend will listen while you work through a life lesson. Do you know what life lessons are? Do you know where life lessons come from? Life lessons are life tests that are given by God to help His specially elected guys, gals and kids to internalize persevering and to help them in increasing their faith underpinning in Him. Life lessons can turn a life that seemed to be full of meaning into a life that seems to have no meaning. Life lessons are preprogrammed pass/fail events that God – in His divine way, is arbitrarily having His specially elected guys, gals and kids take. A guy, gal or kid who has learned from the experience that he or she was given by God as a life lesson will be rewarded by God with a feeling of hope for passing His life test while the guy, gal or kid who did not learn anything from the experience that he or she was given by God as a life lesson will have the guy, gal or kid rewarded by God with an empty feeling for failing His life test. The guy who scribed the Ecclesiastes Book may have failed more life tests than the life tests that he passed. The Ecclesiastes guy had a handle on bemoaning. The Ecclesiastes guy could identify with oppressed guys. The Ecclesiastes guy scribed in verse 1, “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun; I saw the tears of the oppressed—and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—and they have no comforter.” The Ecclesiastes guy’s conclusion was that the guys who were already dead and the kids who had not yet been born had to be much happier than the oppressed guys, gals and kids who were still alive. Do you think that the guy who scribed the Ecclesiastes Book had a right life perspective believing that life is meaningless?
It is gray and wet this morning outside the condominium where your grandmaa and grandpaa are living. Your grandmaa and grandpaa are glad that they are in their warm condominium. It was quite cool a couple of months ago where your grandmaa and grandpaa live in Colorado. Your grandmaa and grandpaa were the mentors at that time for three intern units who were participating in the internship activities that the mission agency – OC Internship, that your grandmaa and grandpaa are missionaries was having. OC International’s annual internship activities took place again this year at an InterVarsity retreat center called Bear Trap Ranch. Your grandmaa and grandpaa like being at Bear Trap Ranch. During the cool days two months ago, heavy, thick clouds dropped down so low that the clouds swallowed up the pines and aspens that are everywhere on Bear Trap Ranch’s property. When your grandmaa and grandpaa were living in Guatemala, they spent several days a couple of times in Santa Clara. Santa Clara is located above Lake Atitlan. Thick clouds would most afternoons settle over Santa Clara making it hard to see a half a block down the street. Your grandpaa finds it easy to be pessimistic – thinking that ‘life is not fair’ when the outside world looks dark and gloomy. Your grandpaa finds it hard to be optimistic – thinking that ‘the best is yet to come’, when the outside world looks dreary and glum. Stephen – who is an OC International missionary and a very good friend of your grandmaa and grandpaa, uses these two phrases all the time. Stephen is always affirming your grandmaa and grandpaa. Stephen just sent your grandmaa and grandpaa a card and wrote a note in the book that he sent with the card to them telling your grandmaa and grandpaa that he believes that the ‘best is yet to come’ for them. Stephen also told your grandpaa and grandmaa that he knows that there will be times when ‘life is not fair’. Do you have a kid friend who you can talk to who will honestly tell you what you need to hear while he or she is affirming you?
Ecclesiastes 4 (735)