Light was streaming in our window on Sunday morning, and when we awoke, we looked at our phones. Not only had we missed the first church service, the second service has already started at Life Park. Greg had an idea, “Denise, let’s go over to Longpoint. I think we can make their second service.”
“Why not, it’s months since we heard their orchestra and choir. I’d love that.” Greg is the last one I expect to be spontaneous. I sit up and take notice. I wondered what God might have for us this morning with this unexpected change.
As we sit in the pew, the formality of Longpoint allows me to prepared my thoughts for this message from a seasoned pastor, a decade my senior. His sermons are a poetic display his love of history and God’s Word. I value that he is well read and sense the Spirit of God in him. This morning, he had us open Ecclesiastes to hear Solomon’s cry from a mid-life outlook on the vanity of life, the king is fighting a cynical heart hardened by experiencing all there is and wrestling with his purpose. Solomon’s pedigree was royalty with anything at his fingertips, but in all his pursuits of power, love and wisdom; he fears it will all vanish a few years after his passing. The sun will rise and set again and again. There is nothing to be done. All of our striving will soon be forgotten, and what does any of it matter.
This impacts me, and I take note our spontaneous morning has brought us to intersect with this foreordained moment. None would know my own skepticism, a tide just below the surface, something I continually keep in check. Perhaps it has to do with the war on my emotional pain that has waged most of my life, and a hopelessness that it will always be with me. And in my mid-life years, I opt for a calling to be in the quarry with a slew of others who are fighting their demons. Perhaps it is the very reason I chose to be a skilled helper, I understand the struggle. And it is in this work, I see God’s reality in the lives of others. A regular confirmation of His involvement in our lives.
God lifted me from what could have destroyed me in my teens, and I cannot help but believe He will continue to do so in the lives of others. I long to be a part of His work. But it is my experience of Him is what drives me onward.
Early in my Christian life, I relied on my academic knowledge of God, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. But it is not study alone that rescued me, rather coming face to face with God in my closet when there was nowhere else to turn. And with my outpouring and cries, He comforted me. Once He had touched me in the midst of such pain, I was changed. These memories of feeling His presence are the foundation I draw from when my heart is most cynical and confused. And I know in time the Creator God will show up again at the most unexpected times. Solomon is right, we will one day leave this earth. The sun will rise again and again. So, live in God’s purpose and look for His path that you might pass the hope to experience God to others. It is all we will leave on this earth once our story is ended and we see Him face to face.
Ecc 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave…”
I have tried to recreate events, locales and conversations from my memories of them. In order to maintain their anonymity in some instances I have changed the names of individuals and places, I may have changed some identifying characteristics and details such as physical properties, occupations and places of residence. .