"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9:10
As I grew older (and more Reformed, believe it or not), I became fascinated with the flowing beauty of the English in the King James Bible. It is like unto poetry.
Anyway . . . I came across Ecc. 9:10 tonight and was again reminded that everything I do should be done with all that is in me. All too often, I find myself lacking enthusiasm for the task at hand, performing half-heartedly the duties of the moment. Sometimes, I think it would be wiser to have verses like this dangling in front of my eyes at all times. Better yet, what about one of those angel guys? You know, the ones who pop out of thin air, land on your right shoulder, and then proceed to raise Cain until you either listen to them or give into the bad dude on the left side (notice that I only want the good guy). Or how about a little cricket or SOMETHING that would constantly remind me to plug away full steam? I mean, it would seriously boost productivity on my part. Unfortunately, the little angel men and the tiny conscience crickets are reserved for fairy-tale fiction. There is still this verse, though . . . maybe the Psalm 119:11 approach is best: "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." It would seem that memorization of scripture is beneficial not only for the spiritual life, but also for the physical. Hmm.
The second half of the verse sort of emphasizes the importance of the NOW. I only get one life, after that, it's OVER! Riches are temporary--they aren't gonna help me when I'm dead. I think that it's so easy to become focused on the temporal needs of the world. "I need to get a good education and study hard in school so that I can make enough money to live comfortable. I need . . ." the list goes on and on. Rather, Christians should think more along the lines of: "I need to do whatever I can NOW, while I CAN." Is there someone who needs my help, my support, my love, my prayers? I have been given this life. It's not mine. It's God's. What can I be doing while I'm on this Earth to glorify God, help His people, and reach the lost? Seize the moment. Focus on the important things in life: loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself. When life becomes less ME-focused and more GOD-focused, it is, in my opinion, easier to do all things now to His glory.
Therefore, in all that my hands find to do, may I do them with all my heart, to the glory of God. May God help me to keep this verse from Ecclesiastes ever before my eyes and may He apply it to my entire life.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I had an experience this past week that was kinda neat. For the past month, I've been watching and waiting. For what? My chance. A Hindu friend of mine informed me that she had to write a paper comparing Christianity and Islam. "I know NOTHING about Christianity," she said, "so when I write it, I will ask YOU because you know all about Christianity." Wow. I began praying for wisdom and that she would remember . . . Well, my opportunity came on Thursday, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. As it turned out, she decided to compare and contrast the way both religions treat women. Before she asked me for help, though, she asked someone else. Who? A dear, sweet, older Roman Catholic woman who believes that "All religions are just so BEAUTIFUL!" My heart sank. A few minutes later, my friend turned to me and asked for my input as well. "Oh yes," the other woman said, "Erin probably knows a lot more about this than I do!" Well, we proceeded and I was able to insert things about God and Christianity as we went. The bad part? My friend decided (I think I was busy at the time) that since the term Christianity encompasses such a large variety of denominations, she would limit her paper to the Roman Catholic view on women. Hmmm. Well, since I just happened to be sitting at the computer next to her . . . let's just say that I continued to help her out with her research, all the while explaining that Christianity is the religion that offers the most equality to women, that the Bible (about which she knew nothing) was inspired by God, and various other truths. Not exactly what I'd been hoping for, but it was a major opportunity nonetheless. I pray that God will continue to give me opportunities to share with my coworkers and that I will be as shrewd as a serpent and as wise as a dove.