Sometimes life feels like a hamster wheel. Wash laundry. Again. Cook meal. Again. Help son with homework. Again. I sometimes feel a desperation crying out inside of me. IS THIS IT? Do we just spin around our wheel in family (if we choose to have one), career, and home and continue the circle of life? I want to live for more. Is there more?
I am comforted by the fact that Solomon saw this reality too and wrestled with it. He even said, “I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after the wind.” (Ecc. 3:17)
Yep. I hear you wise ruler, Solomon. Sometimes I feel that striving after the wind… like today when I just made breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, to only turn around to have to make lunch and clean the kitchen again. Work is never done. The wind is never caught.
So where is my hope? Why did God create us? Just to toil like the ant and never complete our work?
I don’t understand the depths of God’s reasons, but I see a sliver of purpose today: fear God. After the wise king considered all of life, the work, the unending toil, the prosperous and the poor, he concluded what is right in life: fear God and keep His commandments. (Ecc. 12:13)
The fear here denotes a reverent, honoring kind of yielding. It is not the same kind of fear kids have of the dark or that some have of the market crashing. This fear is a recognition of our lack of holiness in the sight of perfect holiness.
The rhythms of life don’t change. Work needs worked. Food needs prepared. Kids need clean clothes. Oh… and lots of hugs. But, today I am seeing that in all this–in the slopping of wet laundry to the dryer and walking the arboretum with the kids–God is inviting me into relationship with him as I yield to who He is. Holy. Perfect. Forgiving. Loving. As I learn to follow His ways (it takes lots of practice), I am learning the point of it all: To honor my King in the work He assigns. In other words: To fear the Lord and keep his commandments. (Ecc. 12:13)
The schoolroom of everyday tasks is where God teaches me to follow Him. To love well when I least want to love.
Sometimes my work may be things I most enjoy (like writing or talking with women), but most of the time, it is the tasks that I least enjoy that require me to practice joyful, reverent, honoring fear by serving in the mundane in such a way that is fitting in serving the King.
Do you ever feel like your work is pointless? Do you ever feel like you are on a hamster wheel, wondering what the point of it all is anyway? The wisest man that ever lived wondered about the purpose of it all too. Let’s learn from him to follow God in all our ways. He will meet us here… even in the email-sending, dish-washing, kid-correcting, job-demanding days.
Fear God. Learn to follow His ways.