Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Waltzing with Solomon

I've always enjoyed the book of Ecclesiastes.  Solomon tackles the nitty gritty in his self-titled book.  What is the point?  Why bother?  One day is the same as the next.  We think we have something wonderful and new, but history reveals that it's all been done before.

Solomon tried to combat the futility he felt by indulging his cravings.  He toyed with profound knowledge, with tremendous architectural projects, with surrounding himself with wine, women, and song.  He sought pleasure in all its many varieties, and found it was not the remedy to humdrum, meaningless life.

Never claiming Solomon's wisdom, I nevertheless share a pursuit he explored.  He sought out knowledge and man's wisdom to alleviate the tedium and purposelessness of life.  I lean toward the same intellectual bent.  I tend to be pragmatic and practical, to a fault, really.  While I am a spiritual person, I tend to discount the spiritual aspect of my faith and my life.  If it's in black and white, if it's logical, if it's sensible, it is acceptable.  If it smacks of the supernatural, of mysticism or miracles, it is questionable at best.

I've been indulging my inner Solomon lately.  I say this to my shame.  I've become downright cynical about the faith to which I owe so much.  Sure, I acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross to take my punishment for sin, and that this atonement makes me acceptable to God.  But visions, dreams, feelings?  Give 'em to someone else.  I don't acknowledge such things.  I have even become scornful of them and dubious of those who lay claim to them.

I know for a fact (ah...love facts!) that God accepts me as I am, cynicism and all.  I know that nothing more is necessary for me to partake in relationship with Him.  But I know, for myself, that I am missing out on a richness that others enjoy in abundance.  Ignoring the spiritual side of faith sounds anti-intuitive, and it is.  I've paid a high price for my enjoyment of reasoned faith.

I recently participated in a women's fellowship meeting.  The ladies who led worship had an amazing ability to select songs that recalled my haughty intellect back to those days before the cynicism set in.  I had experienced wonder then.  I had approached life with anticipation of meeting God at every turn.  I had enjoyed the dance of spiritual liveliness once.

Solomon concludes Ecclesiastes playing the same melancholy tune he opened with.  The curtain closes and we are neither enlightened nor enlivened.  I hope that my experience will be different.  I want to get as much out of this dance as I possibly can.  I want life, and vigor, and the supernatural, to cut in and sweep me off my feet.


  1. I worry that the cynicism that I expose myself to will quench my faith, so I completely relate to this post. Thanking God that it's not my grip on Him that determines my relationship to Him, but His grip on me.

  2. That's a great way to put it, Susan!