Blog | Lindsey Smallwood

The Life We Cannot See

Lindsey Smallwood

A couple years ago, some friends of ours were married in Ojai, California. Ojai is an out-of-the-way town nestled in the hills between the busy interstates going in and out of Los Angeles and the scenic California coast. Like many tourist destinations, there are quirky shops and restaurants, nice hotels and a long list of recreation options. But to me, the best part of being in Ojai was the citrus smell. The roads are lined with orange trees and tangerine groves, miles and miles of sweet-smelling fruit.

I’m not sure The Teacher would have enjoyed the sights and smells of our wedding weekend getaway as much as I did. In fact, after reading his opening thoughts in Ecclesiastes 1:1-12, it seems like he might not find much in all of life to enjoy! Listen in to some of those observations, shared here from the Message version:

There’s nothing to anything—it’s all smoke.
What’s there to show for a lifetime of work,
    a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone?
One generation goes its way, the next one arrives,
    but nothing changes—it’s business as usual for old
        planet earth…

Everything’s boring, utterly boring—
    no one can find any meaning in it.
Boring to the eye,
    boring to the ear.
What was will be again,
    what happened will happen again.
There’s nothing new on this earth.
    Year after year it’s the same old thing.

It wasn’t always this way. There was a time, not in Ojai, California, but in a different grove of fruit trees altogether when the world was new, when everything wasn’t full of weariness...

Pop on over to The Mudroom to read the rest. They are feauturing a devotional reflection from Ecclesiastes every Friday in November. Next week: Is "a time for everything" good news or bad news?