I love Ecclesiastes. Sometimes it’s hard for me to fathom that someone that lived thousands of years ago in a completely different culture could have written that. I know that the words are from God, but Solomon knows the truths deep down in his heart from personal experience.
I really know when I am out of balance. Nothing goes right and I feel miserable. I start to get that feeling of “chasing the wind” that Solomon writes about in Ecclesiates. And then out of nowhere that word BALANCE comes to my mind, sometime softly, sometimes with a SHOUT!! That has recently happened in the last few days.
Just yesterday at a staff meeting we played this game on “Full Spectrum Leadership”, which is a fancy term for meaning that leaders not only need to leap tall buildings in a single bound but they have to keep their employees happy and make money for the company while doing it. While in a way it is “chasing the wind” mentality, it did have a notion of balance. To win the game you had to have a balance of happy and productive employees, personal growth, and money. Everyone kept a scorecard, and on the scorecard there it was, plain as day, the word “BALANCE” – with a fulcrum in the middle and a formula that favored balance over high scores in any one area. Our team had a blast going through the game, laughing at the scenarios (although maybe that wasn’t the intent…), and although I came in last (hey, I drew bad cards!!) I still had fun, even if it did consume my lunch hour. The main point is, though, that that word “Balance” jumped right of the card at me. The word stayed with me the rest of the day. (Even as I called for a tow truck when my car broke down on the way home….).
5 The fool folds his hands
and ruins himself.
6 Better one handful with tranquillity
than two handfuls with toil
and chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:5-6
So Solomon says to fold your hands brings ruin, two handfulls is chasing after the wind, but one handful brings tranquility (it’s just right!).
17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Paul instructs us not to let our wealth bring arrogance but to put our hope in God, do good, be generous and willing to share. Yes, we are to work, and God will richly bless us with things for our enjoyment, but we need balance in our lives, and we need to realize that it all comes from Him and not from ourselves.
Of course, this is all easier to see with a day off due to my car being in the shop…. sitting on my back deck, feeling the breeze, enjoying some sunshine, two weeks of laundry done before the weekend even starts, life really is good!!
Lord, I look to you to guide me, to tell me what I need to do to have the balance in my life that I know I need. I know the exhaustion of chasing the wind. Instead, I want one handful with tranquility! I thank you for the blessings you have provided for me to enjoy!