Mirror Mirror

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Ecclesiastes 1: 1-11 NIV

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The words of the Teacher,[a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

Ecclesiastes is a book of wisdom literature in canonical (religious/important) Jewish and Christian Scripture.  It means preacher or member of assembly in Greek.  It was written in poetic style to let the reader know that life is meaningless without God.  As I read line by line, I am profoundly moved by its simplicity and grandeur.  It is like looking at the stars and thinking about the universe and knowing we are just a mere speck.  It’s there simply for us to take in, but too big for our minds to even comprehend.  Are we here for a purpose, or are we just shadows drifting about leaving no mark?  

What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.

This particular verses 3-4 caught my attention and made me ponder my life as a wife, mother, daughter, and teacher.  Why do I toil over making my husband the right dinner, making sure my son has all the necessary items to start his school year, making sure my parents know I love them, making sure my students learn all the information they need to be successful?  To toil means a long strenuous fatiguing labor.  Fatigue is what I have when these “jobs” I give myself become what defines me and takes extraordinary amounts of effort, time, and thought.  Is this why I am placed on this earth?  Is this what my destiny should be?  Or is there something greater I am missing?

My legacy will come and go.  My son will carry on and what will he do?  Will he labor and toil too?  The answer lies in the following verse.

11 No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

If no one remembers the former generations and those to come, then maybe this life we live on earth is not about our image we view of our selves in the mirror.  The image we want to mold and shape to alter our hollow selves. The adjustments needed to our attitudes, relationships, and physical bodies.  Maybe our lives are here to provide what is needed to others beyond that mirror.   The life I live needs to have purpose and meaning.  To do this, I need to carry on something that was given to me as a child of God.  The gift of love, forgiveness , empathy, and grace.  

I can take these gifts and apply them to all areas I define myself.  Then as I present each one, the legacy I leave is an imprint of God.  The love of Christ carries on to each generation, and the world can then change and become new.  

Revelation 21: 3-4 NIV

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

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