From Genesis to Ecclesiastes

Over the weekend my wife and I tackled some outdoors projects. She washed her car and I pressure washed the front of the house. And after we were done we sat back to enjoy the fruits of our labor. And with the sun out, a clean porch under my bare feet, and a gin and tonic in hand I paused to reflect on the afternoon’s labor. There was a moment where I was really satisfied in my Genesis 1&2 dominion over what I surveyed. Our small patch of the world had been ordered and cultivated. The car was back to it’s original color after all of the dirt from snow and pollen from spring had rendered it a grey-ish shade of lime green. The swing was free of Mocking bird droppings, and the feel of grime on every outdoor surface was gone. We had exerted our authority over what God had placed under our care and all seemed right with the world.

And Lo, “Vanities of vanities says the preacher, all is vanity.” As we enjoyed our view of the street a wind blew up a thick and visible cloud of pollen that traveled the length and breadth of the street coating the car, the porch, and us, in the foul yellow green powder. And the game began again. 

While this is not a new parable, it is always a good reminder that everything is cyclical. There is nothing new under the sun. Stupid will come and stupid will go, days of revival will come and they will go. Ecclesiastes is in the Bible for a reason, but it does not negate the create and cultivate command in Genesis. Work is toil, but it is still a good thing. Therefore take heart, “Fear God and keep is commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

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