Guest Post: Larry Brand on Ephesians 6

A friend of mine at my Friday morning men’s group – Larry Brand –  read the following reflection on Ecclesiastes 6.  I thought it was profound and offered to post it on my blog:

This chapter is like a summation of Chapter 1 and all of the overshadowing sentiments echoed in even the most eloquent chapters that follow.  I refused to comment on Ecclesiastes when we started but as is true of all the words of the Bible, eventually the words sink in to remind each of us that they were written specifically for each one of us.

These last few weeks I’ve been on a trip to California coming back through the national parks of Utah.  Each of the seven parks was uniquely different yet beautiful in its own rite.  The one that hit me the most was by far the most desolate.  It was called Dead Horse Canyon.  It did not have the beautiful hues of the Grand Canyon and it did not have the beautiful crystal blue clear waters of Bryce and Zion.  Instead the road led to a dead end, to a tiny piece of land that was like an island in the sky except for a thirty yard wide paved road that connected it to the rest of the land that dropped off precipitously 2000 feet to the Colorado river below.  The walls of the canyon were a ruddy brown and the river that wound its way around the peninsula of land was muddy and looked wide and slow moving.  The canyon got its name from 1800’s cowboys that used the mesa as a natural corral and the story goes that they would drive the horses to the end of the plateau, pick out the best of the breed and leave the rest of the horses to die by blocking up the narrow neck of land.

The stillness of the place was incredible.  We sat on the hot rock ledges and soaked in the solitude and sun and felt at peace with the world.  But it was ghostly as well in that you’d swear in the occasional winds you could hear the echoes of the screams of the dying horses from the past.

And so all vacations end and I came back to a to-do list that is way too long.  But sometimes the Lord stops us in our paths and lets the words of the prophets speak to us.  The night after I got back from the trip I noticed a testicular lump I had never noticed before and soon there was a flurry of doctor, lab, radiology and specialist visits that can only lead someone like me to start wondering about one’s mortality.  And with that comes disappointment in what I’ve accomplished in life and the things I’ve not completed.  And the words of Ecclesiastes, this too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind, speaks clearly to me now.

The doctors and I have decided to leave the lump for now and monitor it since the chances of it being malignant are very small.  But it’ll be a reminder that I need to be very careful on how I decide to spend the rest of my days.  Time seems so very short and precious for me again, just as it always should have been.  I am making up a different to-do list.  There are things I finally need to get started on and not put off any longer.  And there are things that I’m just not gonna give a shit whether I get done or not.

It is good to have a bit of crisis in my life no matter how imagined it really is.  I always get closer to the Lord when there are perceived tough times.  And there are seasons of time that we must listen to.  Vacation was great – I needed the rest.  Back to work is great – I need the focus.  And hopefully I will make more intentional decision about how I spend my time.  Because eventually we all end up at the end of the road at Dead Horse Canyon.  We must each make peace with the world.  And in the end  I want to be at peace with myself and my God; I want to feel the sun’s warmth on my face.  I’ve always felt my God’s love but I want desperately to hear only the rush of the wind that will finally carry my Lord’s voice to me.

Categories: Bible Thoughts

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