Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your strength, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.
Ecc 9-10 (HCSB)
Some think that the writings in Ecclesiastes are negative and depressing. It could seem that way when you read “Everything is meaningless… completely meaningless” (1:2) and “…I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.” (4:2).
But this book is a beautiful journey filled with the poetic and nostalgic language of a man, whom near the end of his life, is navigating the hallways of his past, the room of his present, and the gardens of tomorrow. He explores the question “What is life all about” so eloquently and beautifully. When you read the book in one sitting, you get a sense that he has arrived at a conclusion and made peace with his journey.
In the western world, we view life through staccato glasses; we often miss the meaningfulness of everyday moments, the beauty of the journey, the importance of light and shade, failure and success. We want to jump to all the good parts and forget the hardships. Life is a dance… not a climb or a ladder, but forward, backward, sideways, up and down motions with lessons to be learnt, times for reflection, for action, growth, joy, pain, sorrow, gladness… When we dance through these experiences, we truly live each moment and nothing is wasted.
I think that's the point the author of Ecclesiastes is trying to make. He uses the word ‘meaningless’ more than 30 times in the 12th chapter, which we could take depressingly. But the original word used here is “heh’bel” meaning “vapor or breath”… He’s not saying life is meaningless, so there’s no point… He’s saying life is short, make the most of it.
Whatever you find yourself doing, or whatever situation you're in, own it, live it and squeeze every last drop of growth, meaning and joy out of it that you can. It’s an encouragement to grab life with both hands, no excuses and live… truly live.
Brene Brown writes, “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” Life is a vapor, a breath... what will you find within it?
We do not dance this life alone… our divine partner, our God and Saviour, is with us, showing us the steps and leading the way. Grab onto him with both hands, your whole heart, all your strength, and give life all you’ve got.