Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Wise vs. Foolish Life

Biblical King Solomon considers and ponders throughout his lifetime the inter-workings of the many pieces which make up the whole. These capture his imagination. With flowing words and to-the-point comments, he shares his reactions be they angry, happy, melancholy, passionate, disillusioned, reflective, spiritual, or sad. Solomon writes at length, unpacking his churning thinking as to the meaning one attributes to love, wisdom, and life. He gets there--to the end--where reason meets truth, to an acknowledging of the Mastermind behind the scenes. He realizes that in the end it is all about God. In his own way stating that we as humans will be best off if we come to an understanding of God’s ways.

Solomon’s reasoning is unveiled for us to contemplate from his gift for pondering the truths and their inner wisdom found by studying details of life as it is lived under the sun. He looks at the reaction that comes as a byproduct result from the action. His book of Proverbs document how closely he was paying attention to the details. In Proverbs we uncover a subtle almost covert warning hidden within its mini messages. 

Solomon wants to caution us against foolishness—the human’s flirt with the wicked, and also to encourage the converse—the human’s desire for that which is righteous. 

It is truly a book to expose the truth and its consequences. King Solomon, the son of a humble shepherd-turned-king, tastes much of what life has to offer. He does not deny himself the pleasures of life. In the end, after much study, contemplation, and reflection, King Solomon states his thoughts on the matter using words that are common to life.

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV)

           For King Solomon to ascertain and make this conclusion after extrapolating a copious listing of all the empty valueless properties in life is a monumental statement in its essence. “All is vanity.” says the Teacher. In this, he realizes one of the minute yet all-powerful views on life. He gets it. His world view is unfolding, he cannot contain his enthusiasm for his contemplations. His readers get a glimpse inside his head to see the depths of these ponderings. Maybe that is why I find his books refreshing, like the slices of meat, tomato, and lettuce arranged between two slices of bread. Don't forget the avocado! Power statements! That, which he finds in life as of worth and value is what is worth connecting with in spirit communing. Solomon concludes, simply stated, that which is real is what the human person is striving so hard to find. 

What is “real” is what gives meaning to life. And then there is a link that connects it together. It is this: That which is real is connected to the Creator in both wisdom and purpose. Solomon is seeing life by looking back over his shoulder, much as I am as I write. He finds that it is beginning to make sense.

My own experiences pale in comparison to Solomon’s. Yet they speak. My moments in life have a message common to experience as they provide a realistic view while seeking to expose some of that which is real in purpose and Presence The way  and how I find God in the midst of the crisis, person, or event. In this walk that is called “life,” a person finds very little that is predictable. If only it could be known  in advance what is “down the road and round the bend.” But, if it were possible to do so, people might not like it. In fact, I am fairly certain most would not be up for the challenge. The troubles that life has a way of throwing at unsuspecting humans seem to take a toll on the emotions, optimism, and belief systems. 

Stepping back from this reality and seeing the lessons learned or the personal growth it exacts can be difficult, painful too, this is true unless a person seeks to see the gifts the problems teach, bring, and give to us. Interventions, implemented by a Divine Love in anyone’s life, can assist us in seeing the bigger picture—the landscape of our human lives that God is painting for all Eternity’s view, a picture so amazing that some day those of us shaped by God will be able to stand back in awe, grateful for those things which seemed so devastatingly impossible at the time, requiring more of us than a person thought possible. In truth, all of life’s goods and bads can be used for personal betterment if a person will allow them to do so. Even the harder more painful episodes have at their core the power to teach, and offer opportunities to reach out in personal understanding, encouragement, and empathy to other co-sufferers. The experiences need not be wasted or buried beneath fractured selves and wounded images. 

The gift that age brings is the ability to see more of the Master Plan that is playing out in our own lives. In this way, we are able to accept the “whys” that seemed so elusive at the time. In-tune people are able to acknowledge the way in which little and big moments have shaped them into the beings they have become and were always meant to be. In this is found a quiet joy. We as humans find that our lives have meaning, value, worth, endurance, with the power to touch other lives. A kind word, a shared opportunity, a quiet gesture, a word of affirmation can give a hand-up to someone that may well last a life-time. A person rarely knows the impact they may have in any given situation, place or event. The gifts that he or she will give or receive that are spontaneous unintentional happenings have in their embodiment the power to reverse a negative message into a positive encounter that will remain as a blessing in our's or another’s life.

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