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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Feeling Asaph-esque

Paul preached from Ecclesiastes and it got me thinking... I wonder if there is a more poetic verse of the Bible than Ecclesiastes 9:11. It runs like this:

Again I saw under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to those with knowledge, but time and chance happens to them all.

I think this is very applicable to university students. I think this because we are all fighting for the 'A's, the social connectedness, and eventually when we leave, the jobs. We do lots of dreaming and tentative planning in university. We dream of being a successful literary editor who consumes great brew at popular bars and owns a bungalo in the beaches and pretty much lives a chill life with financial stability. Life is competitive and you've got to keep up but some people just get the breaks, ya know? Doesn't this cause Asaph-esque feelings like when he complained of the wicked who "set their mouths against the heavens" while their "tongues strut through the earth" (Psalm 73:9).

The next verses in Ecclesiastes illustrate the poetic statement above.

Man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken into an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Even thinking about how you are going to someday become a successful family man and still have time to golf with the guys and read great books and have beautiful friends and summer in Italy or whatever can cause some anxiety (summer was used as a verb). That is, if we don't preach the message of Ecclesiastes to our hearts regularly. Joy and peace come from the assurance of knowing whom you have believed and being convinced that he is able to guard until the (final) day what has been entrusted to you (2 Timothy 1:12).

The race is truly to the one who owes nothing to anyone except love (Romans 13:8).


Blogger Beth said...

Good words.

My favourite poetic passage in the Bible is from Psalm 42:7 -

Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Terra said...

Josh I am so glad you are not interested in pursuing the 'american' dream of having a 'successful family, golf and summering in italy'. Press on brother. And PLEASE do not settle for cheap life that costs so much.


8:14 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I like that you used summer as a verb and felt the need to point it out. Note also that 'ninja' can be used as almost every part of speech (except probably a pronoun)

9:00 AM  
Anonymous ryaN said...

yes, this is a beautiful verse. in fact orwell used it in his defense of language as an example of literary perfection. its one of my favourite passages. what i take away from it is a very direct admission of the appearent senslessness of earthly life. time and chance make victims of us all. but the wiseman will hold to virtue for virtue's sake. his eyes are not set on earthly things but on the sweet hereafter. oh, and according to the oxford english dictionary, summer can indeed be used as a verb

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Nagoda said...

Not a big fan of the american dream myself. i have this odd desire not to be rich. i enjoy living the average life. all i want is a regular 2 story house, a good wife and family, and to write fantasy novels for the rest of me life. and if i want to get extravagant... maybe a recording studio and hammond organ in the basement! but nothin too classy like the summers in italy LOL

4:27 PM  
Blogger Chris Hillcoat said...

Looking forward to seeing you again brother. Talk to me before you book anything...

12:34 PM  
Blogger Chris Hillcoat said...

Wait a minute... what's wrong with summering in Italy!

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, i know chris. what's wrong with a bit of culture? its wintering in florida that i don't get

6:13 PM  

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