Blog | Lindsey Smallwood

When Life Slips Through Your Fingers

Lindsey Smallwood

Every Friday in November, my latest book Ecclesiastes: Life in Full Color is being featured at The Mudroom blog. The following devotional reflection is based my book and the related materials available for small groups.

When it comes to reading and studying the Bible, I totally play favorites. The English major/story teller part of me loves to return to the narratives of Genesis, Ruth and Acts. The singer/poet side of my heart enjoys opening the Psalms and finding ways to sing along. The searching/seeking side of my heart comes back over and over again to the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and the letters of Paul in the New Testament.

But the rest of it? Let’s just say that some pages of my Bible tend to stay more crisp than others. The laws and codes of the ancient Hebrews, the long metaphorical prophecies, instructions for building the temple? Sure I’ve read them, blazed through on a journey through the Bible in a year once or twice. But not places I tend to spend much time.

Until recently, Ecclesiastes has been one of those books in my own Bible. Neglected because I didn’t really understand it, passed over in favor of more familiar passages that seem easier to apply to my life as a Christian.

I mean, let’s just look at that opener in chapter 1, verse 2.

 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

Talk about a strange thesis! The Teacher starts his talk with the assertion that everything – all of life - is meaningless. And in case you don’t believe him, he spends the next chapter, really the rest of the book, reasserting how empty and shallow and difficult life can be.

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