Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Household Help

"Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;
"Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."
What profit has a man from all his labor
In which he toils under the sun?
All things are full of labor;
Man cannot express it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor the ear filled with hearing.
That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
Sometimes the futility of my labors as a housewife just astound me. You know how it goes: by the time you fold a load of laundry, there's another pile that needs to be washed...you clean up the floor and then someone eats crackers for snack...you make the beds only to climb right back into them.... Every time you turn around something that you just finished needs to be done again!

Of course, if you've read Ecclesiastes, you know not only that this repetition is natural but also that you are not the first to be confounded by it all. One generation passes away, and another takes its place...the sun rises and sets...rivers run into the sea and the water returns to run its course again...and again...and again. The wind keeps on whirling about.

No, I don't go crazy while I'm doing housework, but I do tend to over-think it. That's why one of my birthday gifts from a friend is particularly special to me.

My friend Katelyn has been learning to knit. Whenever we get together she is stitching away--knit after purl, purl after knit--on wash cloths of various sizes, colors and patterns. It made me happy that she thought of me as she made this yellow cotton cloth and every time I use it I think of her. It reminds me that I'm not alone in this endless cycle of housework. It reminds me that there is more to life than doing dishes, but doing the dishes is good too. 
Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart. Ecclesiastes 5:18-20
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. -Ecclesiastes 9:10
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

1 comment:

  1. And the glory of the whole matter is...

    "He has made everything beautiful in its time.
    Also He has put eternity into their hearts,
    no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
    I know that nothing is better for them than to REJOICE, AND DO GOOD IN THEIR LIVES, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor -
    it is the gift of God."