Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Ecclesiastes 2: 1 – 8

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Week One – Day 4 – 2:1 – 8  SOAPv. 1,2WK1D4

Years I spent in Vanity and Pride – (At Calvary – The Collingsworth Family) –

At Calvary – (Lynda Randle) –

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.

O – Solomon took it on himself to find meaning in life in so many things.   Pleasure.  Laughter and fun times.  Wine.  Great works.  Building houses.  Planting vineyards.  Making gardens and parks – planting fruit trees in them.  Pools.  Having servants and slaves.  Having herds and flocks of animals.   Collecting gold and silver and treasures.  Music.  Concubines – sexual pleasure without marriage.  Nothing brought meaning to him!

I find it interesting how many times he mentions “for myself…”  Nothing that he did to bring glory and pleasure to himself worked!  It was all…. For…. Him.

A – I see so many in our world today who try all these ways of pleasure to bring meaning to life.   “Doing my own thing.”  Going out and “having fun.”  Drinking and drugs.  Immersing oneself in work to “get ahead.”  Having the “right house” with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, game rooms, etc.    (McMansions…) Big yards – with playhouses and “stuff.”  Servants and maids.  Money.  The list goes on.

How easy it is to get caught up in the things of this world!  I, too, can get caught up in the “stuff.”  How much of what I have do I really need?  All the clothing?  Do I actually need more?  Stuff for the house?  How much do we really need?  Am I content?  Yes, I AM content!  As I walk each day and look at the houses nearby, the new house that is being built right down the street from us, I thankful for what God has given us.  We have a warm home, that is just right for us – a place to be hospitable to others, to study and relax, to cook together, to read and reflect .  We have a few garden areas that bring beauty, but not excessive.  We don’t spend time “shopping and collecting.”  Right now, it’s “how much of this do we really need?”  I find that living simpler is much more gratifying – enjoying people and “moments.”  A walk along the railroad bed, or in the neighborhood.  Meeting with the two young women from church.  Making a blanket for a new baby.  Making Mr. Potato head pieces for grandkids.   Those kinds of things are lasting.   I remember my grandmother saying, “You don’t find a You Haul trailer behind a hearse….”   How true!   Moments and memories are lasting – not things!

P – Father God, my rambling thoughts today also bring me to the place of thankfulness for all You have given to me.  Father, thank You for the perspective that Your Word gives even in this book of Ecclesiastes.  I need those reminders.  Father, give me Your heart for those around me – more than the “stuff” of this world.  May I not be caught up in the worldly pleasures and things, but caught up with You.  May my attention not be on myself, but on You and ministry for You.  Thank You for the reminder of Calvary – that ALL that I need is found there.  Your mercy.  Your grace.  Your love.  All I need is found in You.  Thank You for all the blessings that You give me besides.

At Calvary –

  1. Years I spent in vanity and pride,
    Caring not my Lord was crucified,
    Knowing not it was for me He died
    On Calvary.

    • Refrain:
      Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
      Pardon there was multiplied to me;
      There my burdened soul found liberty
      At Calvary.
  2. By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
    Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
    Till my guilty soul imploring turned
    To Calvary.
  3. Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
    Now I gladly own Him as my King,
    Now my raptured soul can only sing
    Of Calvary!
  4. Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
    Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
    Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
    At Calvary!

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