The day after I deep clean has historically been a very rough one.
I cringe (on a good day, worse on a bad day) as I stand watching my hard, sweaty work completely UNRAVEL before my very eyes.
In most cases I have to step outside and practice deep-breathing techniques as a coping mechanism.
Today I stood by my one year old’s high chair trying to catch her crumbs as her windmill arms swung and flung…my upper back starting to ache as I envisioned myself cleaning the floor yet again.
The thing that has given me the most trouble in my job as a stay at home mom is…well, how shall we put it…so much of it is a chasing after the wind.
You wash and fold clothes only for them to get dirty again.
You scrub the floor only to await the destruction following the next meal.
You sweep out the garage only for the leaves to blow in (almost mockingly).
You empty the trashcans only to watch them quickly overflow.
You vacuum the steps (this is a hard one, let’s just be honest) only to watch the kids tromp in dead leaves clinging to their socks.
Okay, okay, you get the picture.
I sat down today as the “Itsy Bitsy” spider song played in the background and really listened to the words (Ahem). Straining, sweating, perhaps…as she climbed the infamous waterspout. Only God knows how long it took her. And, to what avail? Only for the rain to come and wash her down right to the place she started.
I could feel myself resonating deeply with her struggle.
My train of thought was only interrupted when my two year old tugged on my arm and told me that she pooped in her (just changed) diaper. *Sigh*.
PLEASE, GOD … TELL US … Are we really doing anything of significance?
Maybe this struggle is not just for mothers. Maybe this is a struggle for all of humanity. Maybe we have it engrained deeply in our hearts…this desire to live for something that truly matters. Something greater than a perfectly clean house.
The author of Ecclesiastes struggled so deeply with this feeling of “Chasing after the wind” that you would almost think he was a stay-at-home mom. Or a spider.
For the first few chapters, the author engages in a thought experiment, analyzing things deeply from the vantage point of “UNDER THE SUN.”
What is the point of life apart from God?
Vanity of vanities…All is Vanity! What does a man GAIN by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
GOOD QUESTION, SOLOMON! Keep going, please…
Initially the author finds something good (wisdom, pleasure, money, hard work, a CLEAN HOUSE), but as he presses into them, asking too much of them, eventually they break.
They are good GIFTS, and we are told to recognize and enjoy them as such. But, when we look to these things to bring us the satisfaction that we long for, we are…er…barking up the wrong waterspout.
This book of the Bible encourages us not to store up our treasures here on this earth; This earth as we know it will fade.
Listen to the last chapter of Ecclesiastes:
The end of the matter; all has been heard. FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, for this is the WHOLE DUTY of MAN.
His Commandments? Love God. Love people.
Pretty simple, huh?
We are created for GOD and to live for His purposes. This passage reminds me to press hard into God. He is the only thing that can carry the weight of my expectations and hopes and dreams and desires. He’s the only thing that won’t break, decay, fade, or unravel.
What about you? What is unraveling around you today?
Published September 1, 2014