This week we made it to Ecclesiastes chapter 3. I feel like we should all be singing the Byrds right now: “For everything, turn, turn, turn.” Groovy! Sadly not everything in Ecclesiastes is peace, love, and rainbows, but we had a great night digging in anyway. If you are following along, we also read chapter 3 of Thirty Thousand Days, and chatted about what it means to walk purposefully. Feel free to chime in on our Facebook group, Life is Vapor. See you there!
This week we talked about Ecclesiastes chapter 2 and all of the ways we seek satisfaction under the sun. The Preacher, as one commentator remarked, tries hard to set up his own little Garden of Eden without any of the forbidden fruits, and oh how his experiment fails! Here’s my friend Erika leading us. Enjoy!
It is summer. For a brief season, all of us bound by school-year schedules are free; visions of swimming pools dance in our heads. Lakes and camping, beaches and sandcastles, supper on the patio. The hours ahead seem endless, which the kids are quick to pick up on. “I’m boooorrrred,” whines across the country. We roll our eyes, throw a book. The screen door slams. Laughter spills over the yard.
But summer is also the season of angst, for me, anyway. So many projects, put off all year, so many options every day. What to prioritize? What will get checked off?
I went to a garage sale this week, checked out a hammock. “It’s a little loose,” the lady said. “You can increase the tension.” And there’s the trick — the tension between numbering our days, accomplishing all of the procrastinated projects, or keeping margin, swinging loose. Too loose and I’m bored, guilty, mad at myself for wasted days. Too tight and I cringe when the doorbell rings, grump when I fail, sigh when I realize I missed the joy.
Summer is a microcosm of life speeding by. Seems like forever, but blink and you’ll miss it.
I made a list today: all of the things that need doing. As usual, I made sure to include some I can already check off. (Secret to a good list, right there.) But I think I should go back, add a few:
make homemade ice cream
light sparklers on the 4th
visit Hanging Lake
read a book by Citronella candlelight on the porch
go kayaking with the smallest boy
get coffee with the tallest boy
go yard sale-ing with the laughing girl
spend as much money as possible at lemonade stands
go to free outdoor concerts in the park
remember that summer is fleeting, life is fleeting, life is a wildflower and then it is gone.
I am so delighted to share this resource! Yeah, I’m a little biased, but this is a really unique study. First there’s the in-depth, take-it-apart-verse-by-verse study of Ecclesiastes–what a book! In the process, sharpen your Bible study skills, dip a toe in some deep philosophy, and investigate how the Bible reconciles our struggles in a fallen world with the abundant life Jesus promised. At the heart of Ecclesiastes is a question– what will I do with the gift of life God has given? How will I spend my days? Thirty Thousand Days asks the exact same question. It’s not a commentary by any stretch, but a complement. Think of it as a tour guide– the fellow with his little microphone at the front of the bus piping up helpfully (“and on your right we see Big Ben, Parliament… Big Ben, Parliament…”)
You could certainly do this study all on your lonesome. It’s not specifically a women’s study, but the ladies at our church are tackling it this summer. I’ll be posting the audio clips of our introductory talks each week, and you can follow along at your own pace. Still, I think you’ll have a richer experience if you find some friends to walk through it with you.
That God will help us fall more in love with His crazy, intricate, wise Word, and give us the tools to mine it for ourselves.
That God will help us put down deep roots to weather storms.
That God will challenge us to give our 30,000 days to Him.
That we would be sick of fluff and long for depth.
That God will make us brave enough to ask hard questions; that we will discover He is always ready with a hard but hopeful answer.
I’m including the whole shebang here in pdf form. It is free for your use, and I would love for you to print and distribute it to your small group, Sunday school class, PTA– you know, wherever. You might want to print it out in chunks, since it’s kind of huge, or have the whole thing bound at FedEx or somewhere to keep in workbook format. The whole study will take you 12 weeks (perfect for summer!) If you do use it, please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think, what God did.