Vanity

“When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should never sleep day or night), and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover.” Ecclesiastes 8:16-17

How fitting to have a crisis of purpose of the search for knowledge of God while reading Ecclesiastes.

“I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me. What has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it? I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness.” Ecclesiastes 7:23-25

It doesn’t help that I am desperately depressed. It took me some time to discern the return of my long lost companion of darkness, for it has been quite some time since he came to visit. So long in fact that I had forgotten that the mind numbing hopelessness that accompanies his presence needs to be acknowledged for what it is, corralled, and offered space to exist as a guest, and guest only, or there is no chance of his departure in a timely manner. I cannot not let him move in and get comfortable.

So now with the realization of the return of my visitor, I am once again able to see more clearly. Thus the tackling, binding, and banishment of my desire to chuck everything and run away from home (read not exist) has begun.

“Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14:28-33

Jesus Immediately stretched out His hand, not in time, but immediately! Why did I let this truth slip away? He has been holding my hand and comforting me continuously. I will not go under, ever. He’s got me tight.

He took me back to the first post I wrote for this blog, when I was so lost I didn’t even know myself, and upon the reading it again so many years later, I awakened to the knowledge of His constancy. He drove deep into my heart the security of His everlasting presence in my life.

And yes, the vanity of searching for the unknowable, and the instruction to do so anyways. Once again a paradox, but walking with God is a paradox always. This must be accepted.

For satisfaction is only to be found in the vain labor of trying to know the unknowable God, and in the seeking to intentionally acknowledge God’s presence, to feel Him, to receive His comfort and love in the renewal of my mind and strength of purpose.

I find I must seek love, not pride of mind.

Intimacy, not knowledge.

Except knowledge facilitates intimacy, so knowledge must be sought.

Just not knowledge for knowledges sake, but knowledge for a deeper, sweeter, touch of the Lord.

*****

“Thou art all my good in times of peace,

my only support in days of trouble,

my one sufficiency when life shall end”

Valley of Vision

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