procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

this fleeting man

"Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble."

This would be a great opening sentence for a great novel, a chorus for a song, or opening line in a poem.

In fact, it comes from the mouth of Job (14:1), a man plagued by illness and all types of misfortune, questioning his place in eternity, the meaning of life, and where he stands before the Almighty God.

There is great synchronicity between Job's thinking (esp ch14) and that of the writer of Ecclesiastes:

  • our life is fleeting in the scale of things
  • seeking meaning often results in a belly-full of wind
  • we cannot hope to comprehend anything that lasts for eternity (well, an aion) (let alone anything that lasts more than a lifetime!)
  • we are just the same as the animals in our origins and destinations - ie, dust! - even the plants can claim some superiority over us: Job 14:7-10;

For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its roots grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil;
Yet at the scent of water it will bud,
and put out branches like a young plant.
But man dies, and is laid low;
Man breathes his last, and where is he?

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Blogger Georgina said...

This explains people's obsessions with their histories and future progeny - if I can show that others in my line existed before me and that others will exist after me, then maybe I can exist a bit longer than my life.. :)

5:12 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

hence the helpful corrective of Ecclesiastes chapter 2, (my paraphrase), that you have to leave everything you've worked long and hard for to some halfwit who will squander it all away.

10:33 am  
Blogger Daniel said...

I am a big fan of job. What I find to be one of the most amazing statements of devotion to God in the bible can be found where Job having lost everything simply says "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

11:57 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

thanks for that daniel - it's pretty hummbling, isn't it.

i think that's the gist of eccl.3, reminding us not to read too much into things nor build ourselves up - as there is a time for everything, stop thinking this event is of such massive significance on any kind of cosmic scale, just take it for what it is, a blib in eternity.

12:27 pm  

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