Monday Musings from Ecclesiastes

It’s the second week of the Ecclesiastes study with Love God Greatly. And let me tell you, after a weekend of toiling, and toiling hard, the passages I read this morning were good for my soul.

Easter Weekend is the biggest Christian observance, because without Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross which 100% covers both our sin and our own goodness and His subsequent resurrection, we’d have nothing to rest our hope on.

And for us it’s one of the busiest weekends–we cook a lot and serve a lot.

But our toil is not without a purpose. The only reason the work of our hands has any meaning at all is because of Christ and His life and death.

Sometimes, though, I think that if I work hard enough and check off every single one of the things on my to-do list, then I will be satisfied. I default to thinking that productivity=soul-satisfaction, that if I can lay claim to all the have-dones and details and accomplishments, then I will feel good about myself and my life.

To a certain extent that is true, for a time. It does feel good to put in a full day of work, to labor hard with our hands and to enjoy the fruit of our labors. God created us for work, even before sin entered this world.

But the difference between the first ever work that was done on this world by Adam and Eve and the work we do now, is that they walked with God daily, and their souls were resting in Him and not in their efforts. They certainly knew that all the things they were given to do were given by Him and that it brought Him glory to tend to them.

Now our work is tainted by sin. We get confused about the point of our labor and we start seeking our own glory, our own pat on the back, the notice of others in all of our labor, and we so often forget that even our best work, our most fulfilling labor, amounts to nothing and can’t bring the soul any long-lasting satisfaction apart from God.

Solomon figured all that out too.

ecclesiastes

Solomon worked with his hands and had great earthly reward for it, all the pleasures galore. He saw the fruit of his labors; his productivity was great.

But it left him feeling empty, because it was void of a God-ward focus.

I can so fall into that trap–I come to the end of the day and sometimes I base my feelings about my self and my worth on whether or not I accomplished a lot and got my to-do list checked off, all for a temporary satisfying feeling that will fade before the next day.

Because without our hearts surely planted in God and glorifying Him, nothing has any eternal value at all. It’s a hard concept for me to grasp, and sometimes I despair like Solomon did because if you really thing about it, nothing will last and nothing really matters.

But let’s not stop there. We can’t rest on the good feeling we get from doing a lot of work and accomplishing everything we set out to do, and we can’t get depressed about the meaninglessness of life either.

Our value is found on everything we just celebrated this Easter–Christ covering all of our hard effort with His blood and grace. Ultimately our meaning is found in Him.

As we face another week of inevitable to-do lists, let’s remember not to find our value in what we accomplished, but to constantly point our eyes up to God and know that our value is in Him and who He made us to be. We glorify Him the most when we rest on Him and not on our own accomplishments.

Work hard this week, but get your satisfaction from Him.

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  • Sandra J

    I’m a first time visitor to your site (from Emily’s) and was blessed so by your reflections from Eccl. “Our toil is not without a purpose” – “work hard this week, but get your satisfaction from him”. Great perspective!

    • Gabrielle

      Thanks for visiting, Sandra! I’m loving studying through Ecclesiastes. Some of it is still hard for me to understand, but I’ve definitely related to the productivity of work and finding my true satisfaction in Him, a true discipline.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Sandra! Studying Ecclesiastes has been really good for me, breaking it down and really getting into it. It puts a whole new perspective on why I do what I do every day.