West Virginia Morning: Everything Under the Sun

leaf and raindrop

faded branch with raindrops

This morning, before the sun burned the dew off the grass, we saw three little spotted fawns exploring the meadow behind our house. Last night, our neighbor cleared out a small patch of brambly mélange and mowed down the unruly mess of goldenrod, queen Anne’s lace, and ironweed into a smooth bed of grass. The trio seemed to delight in the freedom to feel out their gangly legs, leaping about and staring over the fence at us in curiosity. I was reminded of the Cultural Mandate—God’s call to us to cultivate the earth, to make it more beautiful. Even our little deer friends appreciate the bringing of order to chaos. Who knew these dear ones were hidden in such a mass of brush?

Meanwhile, I still struggle to bring some order to my own tiny world, internally and externally. Our little town is having a city-wide yard-sale tomorrow and the band boosters are collecting donations for a fundraiser. So I’ve been picking through the attic and basement, looking through twenty years of “oh, I may need this one day” and “I hate to throw this out” items. Items I haven’t given a thought to until this moment. Strange how we hold on to things, is it not? And funny how a little time can give the distance needed to open the hand.

This morning, I started a new Bible study on the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s called Be Satisfied. I was scrolling through my kindle library and it caught my eye because … well, because I haven’t been. Yesterday, in conversation with a new friend, I found myself saying some things that surprised me when describing my life to her. Later in the day, as I reflected on our conversation, I knew I needed some good medicine. The kind of medicine only Truth can give.

Author Warren W. Wiersbe tells me that when Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes,

“he called himself ‘the Preacher’ … The Hebrew word is koheleth (ko-HAY-leth) and is the title given to an official speaker who calls an assembly … . The Greek word for ‘assembly’ is ekklesia, and this gives us the English title of the book, Ecclesiastes. … The word koheleth carries with it the idea of debating, not so much with the listeners as with himself. He would present a topic, discuss it from many viewpoints, and then come to a practical conclusion. …”

Solomon is arguing with himself. I’ve been doing a lot of this lately myself. It doesn’t make for good sleep. I heard a thunderstorm rush through this morning at five a.m. My heart and body were stirred enough to bring me to rise and watch out the window as our little valley received a good scrubbing. An hour later I grabbed my camera and tried to frame up a memory of rain. My lens kept fogging up and the heat was already creeping down my back and my feet quickly grew soggy in the wet grass. These days, nothing seems to go as I hope, nothing seems to measure up to the pictures I paint in my mind.

Dissatisfied.

In the introduction to Be Satisfied, Pastor Ken Baugh gives three principles echoed throughout the book of Ecclesiastes:

Principle 1: I will be satisfied to the extent that I see everything I have as a gift from God.

Principle 2: I will be satisfied to the extent that I notice what is going on in the lives of others.

Principle 3: I will be satisfied to the extent that I trust God during times of distress.

It’s too early in my reading to recommend the study, but I feel hopeful. The lesson this morning was only on the first three verses and already I’m encouraged. I’ll try to keep you in the loop about what I’m learning and reflecting on as I read and examine everything “under the sun”.

 

Comments

    • says

      I’m enjoying it so far! I always have such trouble finding a good study that I like. I usually just enjoy working my way through the Bible on my own. But this one caught my eye, so we shall see! Thanks for stopping by, Kit.

  1. says

    If the first three principles are any indication, the study could be life-changing. But then His Truths applied always change us. Looking forward to hearing more, Laura. Bless you as you seek Him.

    • says

      I thought so too, June. These are all things I know, but I haven’t been feeling them ver deeply lately. I’m hoping King Solomon will push me a bit. Praying you are doing well, June!

  2. says

    First three principles carry a lot of wisdom. Interested to know your thoughts on the book when you are done.

    I tend to hold on to sentimental items or things I may need in the future. My friend helped me with the first. She said take a picture to remember the item by and then give the item away.

    • says

      That’s good advice from your friend, Theresa. I tend to do the same. It’s interesting, though, these past couple of years I have felt a tremendous urge to simplify. We would love to sell our house and downsize, but have decided to wait until our boys are both out of college. I really want them to feel at home when they return for summers and holidays. Sometimes it’s challenging to know when to hold on and when to let go, no?

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  1. […] morning I look out the kitchen window to the clearing in the meadow. I long for a glimpse of the spotted fawns we saw frolicking; I wonder about them: where are they? Are they safe? Will their spots disappear as quickly as the […]

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