As much as I try to make my writing simple enough to be digested, it seems I’ll still need to try some more. I’ll start tomorrow though, today’s topic is hot, and I won’t want to dilute it with simple words. I discovered that writing the way I write generates a lot of questions in people’s minds, and that’s fine, the pathway to knowledge and wealth is to ask. Everything you need in this life, is a question away. You don’t have, because you don’t ask. So if you need clarity on anything I write, please ask questions. I am online most of the time, and really willing to answer.
Someone once told me that my blog made him to start reconsidering his philosophy about the existence of God. He was a very cerebral guy, and had thought his way into believing that God didn’t exist and the spiritual was just an extension of the mind, e.t.c. Somehow without my saying anything directly, he had gotten some questions thrown at him that his philosophy could not explain and moved him into the path of working out a relationship with God. In my little journey on the Internet, I have found out, that he is not alone – many young people have had no experience of God, and are on a journey of questioning, testing and experimenting, and trying to find out for themselves if the world banged into existence or if there is a God somewhere. Is there proof that God exists? Do they need their research? Can it bring results? Is there any research that has been done that they can read and leverage on?
YES! the answer is yes. There is a book I enjoy reading a lot, I must have read it more than 20 times. It’s the book of Ecclesiastes. I recommend that book to any soul searching for answers. It’s a book reputedly written by the wisest man that ever lived. His quest was simple, “what is the most important thing to do on this earth, and what gives happiness and joy”. He wasn’t only a man of wisdom, he was a man of means. He had abundant wealth, and the capacity to not only think, but try out his thoughts and know for himself. He tested everything and documented his findings, earning the sane ones amongst us a reason not to have to subject our lives to experimentation. Everything he felt could bring happiness, he tried. Wisdom, wine, women, folly, wealth, slaves, achievements, progress, inheritance, he pursued them all, and gave a powerful summary of all that he had seen. It will be futile to summarize the 12 chapters of already condensed work of the quester or preacher in one post. Maybe I should indeed do a series on Ecclesiastes, just maybe. Here however are some opening and closing thoughts from the Quester himself.
Ecc 1:1 These are the words of the Quester, David’s son and king in Jerusalem:
Ecc 1:2 Smoke, nothing but smoke. [That’s what the Quester says.] There’s nothing to anything–it’s all smoke.
Ecc 1:3 What’s there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone?
Ecc 1:4 One generation goes its way, the next one arrives, but nothing changes–it’s business as usual for old planet earth.
Ecc 1:5 The sun comes up and the sun goes down, then does it again, and again–the same old round.
Ecc 1:6 The wind blows south, the wind blows north. Around and around and around it blows, blowing this way, then that–the whirling, erratic wind.
Ecc 1:7 All the rivers flow into the sea, but the sea never fills up. The rivers keep flowing to the same old place, and then start all over and do it again.
Ecc 1:8 Everything is boring, utterly boring– no one can find any meaning in it. Boring to the eye, boring to the ear.
Ecc 1:9 What was will be again, what happened will happen again. There’s nothing new on this earth. Year after year it’s the same old thing.
Ecc 1:10 Does someone call out, “Hey, this is new”? Don’t get excited–it’s the same old story.
Ecc 1:11 Nobody remembers what happened yesterday. And the things that will happen tomorrow? Nobody’ll remember them either. Don’t count on being remembered.
Ecc 1:12 Call me “the Quester.” I’ve been king over Israel in Jerusalem.
Ecc 1:13 I looked most carefully into everything, searched out all that is done on this earth. And let me tell you, there’s not much to write home about. God hasn’t made it easy for us.
Ecc 1:14 I’ve seen it all and it’s nothing but smoke–smoke, and spitting into the wind.
Ecc 1:15 Life’s a corkscrew that can’t be straightened, A minus that won’t add up.
Ecc 1:16 I said to myself, “I know more and I’m wiser than anyone before me in Jerusalem. I’ve stockpiled wisdom and knowledge.”
Ecc 1:17 What I’ve finally concluded is that so-called wisdom and knowledge are mindless and witless–nothing but spitting into the wind.
Ecc 1:18 Much learning earns you much trouble. The more you know, the more you hurt.
Ecc 2:1 I said to myself, “Let’s go for it–experiment with pleasure, have a good time!” But there was nothing to it, nothing but smoke.
Ecc 2:2 What do I think of the fun-filled life? Insane! Inane! My verdict on the pursuit of happiness? Who needs it?
Ecc 2:3 With the help of a bottle of wine and all the wisdom I could muster, I tried my level best to penetrate the absurdity of life. I wanted to get a handle on anything useful we mortals might do during the years we spend on this earth.
Ecc 2:4 Oh, I did great things: built houses, planted vineyards,
Ecc 2:5 designed gardens and parks and planted a variety of fruit trees in them,
Ecc 2:6 made pools of water to irrigate the groves of trees.
Ecc 2:7 I bought slaves, male and female, who had children, giving me even more slaves; then I acquired large herds and flocks, larger than any before me in Jerusalem.
Ecc 2:8 I piled up silver and gold, loot from kings and kingdoms. I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and–most exquisite of all pleasures– voluptuous maidens for my bed.
Ecc 2:9 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all.
Ecc 2:10 Everything I wanted I took–I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task–my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!
Ecc 2:11 Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.
When he was done with 11 Chapters of experimenting and analyzing, he came back in the ultimate chapter, and utterred these golden words.
Ecc 12:1 Honor and enjoy your Creator while you’re still young, Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes,
Ecc 12:2 Before your vision dims and the world blurs And the winter years keep you close to the fire.
Ecc 12:3 In old age, your body no longer serves you so well. Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen. The shades are pulled down on the world.
Ecc 12:4 You can’t come and go at will. Things grind to a halt. The hum of the household fades away. You are wakened now by bird-song.
Ecc 12:5 Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past. Even a stroll down the road has its terrors. Your hair turns apple-blossom white, Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body. Yes, you’re well on your way to eternal rest, While your friends make plans for your funeral.
Ecc 12:6 Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
Ecc 12:7 The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.
Ecc 12:8 It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke. The Quester says that everything’s smoke.
Ecc 12:9 Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs.
Ecc 12:10 The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth.
Ecc 12:11 The words of the wise prod us to live well. They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are given by God, the one Shepherd.
Ecc 12:12 But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else.
Ecc 12:13 The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.
Ecc 12:14 And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.
No doubt God exists. It is when diminishing returns set to intellectualism that we become fools and deny his existence. Now that we are young is the best time of our lives. It’s time to serve, to fear God and obey his commands. God speaks, and the wise hear. God is real, and those who have experienced him bear witness.
I’ll close with a story I heard that gave me a hearty laugh. An atheist takes a lawyer and sues the city for not giving the atheist community any public holidays. His lawyer argued the case vehemently, Christians have their days – Easter and Chrismas, Muslims have thier days – Salah, and the prophets birthday, all other religions have their dates, but they don’t have a day to commemorate their belief. After minutes of endless arguing, the judge slammed his hammer 🙂 and dismissed the case. The lawyer was insistent and wanted grounds for the dismissal. The judge called him to approach the bench and assured him that atheist already have a public holiday and that his client was ignorant. The lawyer consulted with his client, and they were still not happy with the state. The judge then decided to explain it to him them, in Psalm 14:1 it reads, a fool says in his heart, that there is no God. Atheist are therefore fools, and they have April 1, which is fools day!