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Archive for January 28th, 2019


Ecclesiastes 5Toiling for the Wind

Monday, January 28, 2019

Jean Beraud: A Windy Day

The world in which we live is alluring; it is also adept at finding our weaknesses in order to draw us in to the illusion that we are living full and productive lives.  We busy ourselves with incessant chores and with possessions that demand our time.  We fill up datebooks and calendars; we make certain that our days are chock-a-block filled with people to see and events to attend.  But have we tended to our soul; have we allowed time and space for God to move and speak within?  Do we toil for the wind?

The world with which we are occupied has strict and narrow expectations.  We ought not speak out or speak up.  We ought not rock the boat or tread on toes.  We ought not mention that the emperor has no clothes or that the elephant is sitting in the middle of the room.  What do we fear so much that we prefer to bend to the will of our companions yet we refuse to obey the voice of God?  Do we chase after the wind?

The world in which we play assures us that with enough money, enough power, and enough good looks we will want for nothing and will be eternally happy.  It tells us that pleasure comes from having our way, from controlling our destiny, and from living in the right neighborhood and driving the right vehicle.  It tells us to take pain pills, to do whatever makes us happy for the moment, and to not allow ourselves to be too committed to anything or anyone other than our status.  Do we believe that the wind can bring us deep and lasting serenity?

When you make a vow to God, delay not its fulfillment.  For God has no pleasure in fools; fulfill what you have vowed.  You had better not make a vow than make it and not fulfill it. 

Yet God has the infinite patience to wait for his foolish creatures to come to him when they find they have been chasing the wind.  This is something to work for.

If you see oppression of the poor, and violation of rights and justice in the realm, do not be shocked by the fact, for the high official has another higher than he watching him and above these there are others higher . . . What then does it profit him to toil for wind?

God has the ultimate word and the last move.  God knows that we are lured away from him by the siren call of the world’s glamour.  God understands that we do not realize that often we run after the wind.  Returning to this kind of fidelity is something to strive for.

Here is what I recognize as good . . . any man to whom God gives riches and property, and grants power to partake of them, so that he receives his lot and finds joy in the fruits of his toil, has a gift from God. 

God’s expectations are so simple that perhaps this is why we miss them.  Since God is so grand and so great – we think to ourselves – we must make ourselves important and powerful so that he might see us.  Yet God loves the least of us even as he loves the greatest.  We need not struggle to be noticed.  This is something to hope for.

We have all of God’s love; and this ought to be gift enough.  Yet, does this satisfy us?

We have all of God’s attention; and this ought to be reward enough.  Why is it not?

We have all of God’s best wishes and hopes; and this ought to be incentive enough.  Do we see this?

God’s enduring fidelity cannot be matched.  God’s all-powerful presence cannot be negated.  God’s compassion and justice are enduring.  God cannot be moved by the wind.  So why, then, do we give it so much importance?  And why do we toil for the wind that cares not who or what we are?


A re-post from January 28, 2012. 

Image from: http://hoocher.com/Jean_Beraud/Jean_Beraud.htm 

For reflection on Ecclesiastes Chapter 6, see the Chasing after the Wind post on this blog.  

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