Thursday, October 18, 2012

Vanity of Vanities

 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. Psalm 22:14-15
My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.  Job 10:1

It seems my whole life I have been finding myself in the Scriptures.  The psalmists, the prophets, they knew my aching fatigue, my soul-deep exhaustion. I have carried agony in my heart long before the pain in my body caught up to me in middle-age.  These poets and preachers felt the longings of my heart from my earliest years.  They gave consolation that I am not alone in crying out for relief.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:28-29He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  Isaiah 40:29-31
The same Scriptures gave me consolation that relief was possible, that God wanted to give me strength and rest.  If only I took his “yoke and learned of” him, then I too could run and fly and rejoice.  For at least thirty years, I have sought nothing more.  Yet, still I lie on my bed and sigh.  I am simply too tired to weep.

I have read the Bible and I have prayed.  I have “waited on the Lord”.  I have sought the wisdom of the medical industry and the healers.  I have taken pills; I have changed my diet and my habits.  I have analyzed my psyche and shamanically “released my attachments”.  I have begged for death.  I have begged for new life.  I have found neither.  I quit begging and tried to “screw my courage to the sticking-place” and “just do it”.

Everyone from the Old Testament prophets to the New Age healers, from Shakespeare to Nike ads, the pill-pushers to the diet-pushers to the snake-oil sellers, all promise salvation.

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.  That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.  I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.  And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.  Ecclesiastes 1:14-17

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