The Temporary and Lasting Joys of Life

Today I took my two little brother in-laws to a couple places I used to play and live. First, I took them to the house I grew up in and moved from when I was in the 3rd grade. I hadn’t been there since we moved and it was just a crazy experience seeing these things again. No one was home, so we got out of the car and walked behind the house and checked out the grounds. The backyard was completely grown over, fences were gone, and the place was pretty dumpy. I showed them where my swing set used to be, where my sandbox was, how we would jump out of the loft of the barn we built, where my bedroom window was, the hill we would sled on (which is a lot less steep than I recall), where my sister and I would play, and whatever else came to my memory. But everything was aging. They were growing over and it seemed like the bright colors of youth had grown dull over the years. It seemed like the sun shined brighter and the trees were bigger then.

Then we walked down the street and stopped by a tree that has a little door on it. We used to place acorns in the door to feed the elves that lived in the tree. So we told David, 4, to find an acorn and he hid it in there. On the way back he was getting another one and I took the old acorn out and showed him that the elves had taken it. It was fun to keep those things going.

The last thing we did was walk down the street and check out the old bridge I used to throw sticks off of. But when we got there, the bridge had been swept away. My guess is that when everything got flooded last year, it was washed away. It was sitting there crashed up against some trees, rotting.

This all reminded me of how temporary and fleeting this life really is. The things that seems to be large and grandiose are actually fading away. This could be such a horrible thought. The fact that everything in life is passing away and is just dust in the wind could push someone to depression.

But the Qohelet says in Ecclesiastes that it is only through God that we are able to have any joy that is lasting. We are to be content with what God has granted to us, to whatever our lot is. God has given us a certain portion in our lives, and because of the joy that is found in God, we are able to enjoy life as God intended.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

“18. Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil- this is the gift of God. 20. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.”

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2 comments on “The Temporary and Lasting Joys of Life

  1. Beth says:

    WHAT?!?! The elves weren’t real??? They like Chestnuts not acorns… oh great, now the’ll starve this winter because you got it mixed up.

  2. Beth says:

    Yeah that’s so sad… time to get the good play areas ready for the next generation. I remember that backyard seeming so big… and how I used to be so scared about venturing in the woods past where we could still see the house–I thought we would get lost behind there forever and in reality it was about an acre or so of woods. Did you go all the way back to the old sheep field or past that to the river bed with the rusting old trucks and skunkcabbage?

    I still sometimes smell a smell that I used to smell to the right behind the old pool- it is a summer damp smell.

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