August 14, 2015


My kitchen window overlooks the neighbor’s grassless backyard and occasionally I’ll see two middle school aged boys using a shovel to tackle some sparsely scattered patches of weeds. Last evening while doing dishes I watched the boys stirring up dust as they rode their small bike around and around in circles. The image of a witch riding a broom flashed through my mind. Taking a closer look as they passed between a tree and a shed I realized they had tied a long handled hoe to the frame of the bike and were dragging it behind them as they circled the yard. I’m not sure they ever did connected with a weed, but they sure had fun trying. “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.  Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment” (Ecc 11:9 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I read Ecclesiastes cautiously. Granting that all the Bible’s authors were imperfect men guided in thought and feeling by the Holy Spirit, we might say Solomon was more imperfect than the others. This is a strange charge to level, I know. For when God promised to grant him any request, he asked for wisdom to rule the people. Seeing what Solomon came to enjoy - multitudes of horses the Lord said Israel’s kings should not have, and slightly fewer wives than those horses, which the Lord said (not in praise) kings over Israel would take in excess, and provisions for those wives to worship their dead-head idols - I’m thinking he should not have specified “to govern Thy people” (I Kings 3:9) when requesting wisdom. Nor does it help his case that, when inspiring the assembling and writing of I Kings, God felt compelled to identify the exact quantity of gold tribute brought to Solomon every year: 666 talents. Solomon indeed is an enigmatic character.
-----One of the problems cropping up in the early church was the penchant of some twisted leaders for rejecting certain portions of scripture otherwise widely held to be inspired. This is a basic mistake made by over controlling minds unable to deal with evidences they do not fancy. Scripture which seemingly runs afoul of other scripture indeed is evidence. What discomforts these minds is that such evidence is of their own perspectives needing adjustment, change, or simple discarding. There are indeed times to drop efforts towards belief conservation as well as times to make such effort with all the soul’s strength. And that itself is kind of Ecclesiastesish.
-----I’m not thinking the Lord is telling us through Solomon’s hand that following your heart into your experiences is good. It can be good if your heart is good. It can be good if what your eyes see is good. But this uncivil cesspool American culture’s come to be aptly demonstrates the fallacy of “follow your heart” spontaneity. Culture conditions a heart long before its maturity. It is up to the mind to recondition the heart when maturity has come, if it does come.
-----I think there is a part of God’s judgment in that reconditioning. I said and did things when I was young the memories of which now shrivel my inner being. I no longer wish I could take them back, because wishes are for the immature. I accept the searing pain of them as God’s judgment mercifully given now for elevating my judgment unto never being so foolish again. Ecclesiastes is full of opposing ideas set side by side. Running these ideas through each other seems to produce useful insight like running iron through magnetic fields seems to produce useful electricity.

Love you all,
Steve Corey