DO it ANYWAY

Ecclesiastes 9-12

ecclesiastes-12814-37-638

Thursday, February 2

So you’ve read today’s reading and are thinking, “Maria, you said King Solomon was going to give us uplifting counsel!”  On the face of it, these last four chapters do not seem very uplifting.  But I read a couple of things along with these scriptures that made me realize that what he is saying is in fact, very uplifting, practical, and real.

The first thing I read, you may have read before.  It is a version of a poem that was originally written by Dr. Kent M. Keith but was rewritten as a spiritual poem, presumably by Mother Teresa.

Do It Anyway
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and genuine enemies.       Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

This poem sums up exactly what King Solomon was saying! Verse 9:11 is a prime example of this idea that life isn’t fair.  You may work hard but not receive any rewards but verse 12: 13-14 says do it anyway!  God knows your works.
The second thing I read was the commentary in my study Bible, which I thought, wrapped up the book of Ecclesiastes quite well.

“God has not told man how to comprehend all the frustrating futilities of life, but He has instructed man to enjoy life as His gift (2:24), to make the most of every opportunity (9:10), and to live life with reverence toward God (12:13), accompanied by an awareness of future judgment (12:14), Solomon learned to live with life’s paradoxes by maintaining a proper attitude toward life and God.”

Solomon is saying life is rough and it doesn’t always go the way we think it should, but we need to do the best we can anyway and everything in this life is in God’s hands.
That sounds like pretty uplifting and practical counsel for all of us!
Tomorrow we will delve into Song of Songs, Song of Solomon, or Canticles. No matter what you call it, Solomon is clearly in a better mood in this book!
See you tomorrow!
Maria Knowlton

(Photo credit: http://www.slideshare.net/drrickgriffith/eccl-12v8-14-finishing-well62)

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