Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Love of Labor

There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen, that it is from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:24

I have been reading the book of Ecclesiastes lately, and have been pondering it for a while now. Being out of work and trying to decide what more to do in life, what to do next, why do it at all, I keep coming back to certain sayings in the book that have long given me a sense that there is something missing. There are several verses that say something similar to this one. These are Solomon's versions of Miller Time.

A day of labor, even if hard, can result in satisfaction. Taking joy in the labor of one's hands and marking the progress. Celebrating the accomplishment of labor with a cold beer with friends. The end of a day of labor can bring a sense of completion. I've lacked this in much of my professional life in the business world, but have found it in home projects, whether woodworking, consructing a patio, or a kitchen remodel. I always find it extremely difficult to relax in life. I'd like to get some kind of work that will allow me to do that.

Whatever I do next, I pray that I might be able to see the end of each day as a gift from God's hand. Am I dreaming or asking too much?

4 comments:

  1. I'm reading Ecclesiastes too, not because of unemployment or anything, but just because it seemed like the right thing to read during Lent. I think we lost just how much realism there is in there. Very un-American in a way. No great expectations or any "I can grow up to be president!" stuff...

    Keep us updated on what else you observe.

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  2. Well as of today I too am unemployed, as least from my day job. I found J Vernon McGee's comentary on Ecc. to be vey useful.. Under the sun is a key term to with out God. God is not under the sun, He is every where. So the statements about under the sun mean with a secular view. Read that way it makes a lot more sense to me.

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  3. Under the sun is where we all live with or without God. Under the sun is our common humanity, our common location.

    If God is everywhere then He certainly is under the sun too.

    I reject the whole notion of secular/religious. We do not live in a dualistic world.

    That said...

    I enjoy working with my hands, working in the garden, working on the house.

    Since most of the work I'vedoen in my life required mental sweat as opposed to physical sweat, I enjoy works that requites less mental exercise and more physical exercise.

    IMO........one of the greatest feelings in the world in hard work, sweat, and a cool summer breeze. There is just something refreshing about the feeling.

    Bruce

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  4. Will,

    I am sorry to hear about your work situation. I live too far to drive some dinner over. Anything I can pray about?

    Bruce,

    I agree with you on common humanity and not living in a dualistic world.

    Abu,

    Interesting comment about America and Solomon's realism. I intend to make an Ecclesiastes/Solomon/wisdom theme a part of my blog in the near future. Not necessarily a series, but many posts on the theme. I intend to read Ecclesiastes several times.

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