I’m going to go ahead and assume that you clicked on the link above. And that you actually read the entire passage. If you didn’t, go back and do it. Really. I’ll wait.
So, I’ve been pondering this passage for months. It is widely believed to have been written by Solomon, but some Bible scholars say it’s unknown. For the sake of this entry, let’s assume it is Solomon.
When everything transpired with Lincoln in Martha’s Vineyard (I do and will continue to refer to this a lot. It was life-altering. A real defining moment in my life. I can’t think of anything that has changed me more. Besides finding Jesus), I found myself reading this Ecclesiastical passage and feeling much the same way as Solomon felt. I would log onto Facebook (why, I don’t know), and I would literally think “this is all so meaningless!” When you fear losing your baby, not having answers and questioning your ability to carry your child, you gain new perspective. Thank God. Only eternal things become significant. Things like wearing makeup in public (which, admittedly, I used to actually think was important) and wondering what someone thinks about your life, the decisions you make or don’t make, become REALLY unimportant, not to mention time-consuming. I can’t even fathom how many times I gave away my power. To Mary Kay and Clinique, to my family and friends, to some of Matt’s family, to church members, to way TOO MANY PEOPLE. I thought I was authentic. That was until I realized I only have a certain amount of time on this earth. I better choose Who and what I’m living for. And start being real.
I think that’s what Solomon found too. That things like careers, cars, houses, clothes, even the arts, history, time, all of it, meaningless! No one will remember us. We won’t do anything WORTH remembering. I couldn’t agree more.
But here’s where I disagree with Solomon. And trust me, I’ve questioned whether it’s even right to disagree with someone from the Bible. It feels almost blasphemous. But Solomon wasn’t sinless. He was human just like me.
Parenting isn’t meaningless. Solomon asks the question: “Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.” To which I respond, YES! This IS something new! There never has been, nor will there ever be again, a chubby-cheeked, curious-minded, suspicious-looking, strong-legged, milk-loving baby Lincoln. My “eye never has enough of seeing, nor [my] ear its fill of hearing.” Raising children is kingdom work. And if we’re doing it right-ish, we’re praying day and night. For immunity from sickness, for a happy heart, for a healthy mind, for a love for Jesus, for naps that get missed, for nights that are hard. For everything under the sun.
But Solomon, just so there are no hard feelings, I do agree with one more thing you said. “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” I know this is true. Because when I google “sleep regression” or “teething” or “cry it out” or “pick up/put down”, I almost always come away feeling sorrowful and grieved. Solomon, if you were alive today, I’d venture to guess that “google” would be on your list of things that are meaningless. And I’d probably have to agree with you. Just so I wouldn’t be on your bad side.