Today we will read Ecclesiastes 7: 1-14:
1 A good name is better than precious ointment,
and the day of death, than the day of birth.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of everyone,
and the living will lay it to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise
than to hear the song of fools.
6 For like the crackling of thorns under a pot,
so is the laughter of fools;
this also is vanity.
7 Surely oppression makes the wise foolish,
and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning;
the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit.
9 Do not be quick to anger,
for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance,
an advantage to those who see the sun.
12 For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money,
and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to the one who possesses it.
13 Consider the work of God;
who can make straight what he has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity, be joyful, and in the day of adversity, consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals may not find out anything that comes after them.
One of the common refrains we see from the Teacher, as well in other books of wisdom in scripture (Proverbs, Psalms) is the importance of numbering your days. When we understand that our time here on the earth is finite, it makes every day so much more precious. It makes every moment that much more valuable. It makes time much more valuable.
When we have the awareness of death, it drives home the motivation and desire to live every moment to the fullest. We shouldn’t waste it, we shouldn’t take it for granted, we should live it.
I heard a quote that a pause in a song is a powerful thing because it gives you the feeling that the song is over and that makes you sad. But then when the song kicks back up, it makes you thrillingly happy, because the song is not really over and you have more to enjoy.
You are going to die one day. I am going to die one day. Hopefully, many years from now, but it will happen. Realizing that does make us sad. Even with the reality of eternity awaiting us, we want to live.
We will die.
Now that realize that we also realize, we have today! Live it! Fully, deeply, joyfully. Live the day you’ve been given. I think the Teacher realizes that, and that truth is a beautiful thing. Live today, because we have it.
Live. Today. Live.
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