Missing It | Ecclesiastes 8.2-9
Do what your king commands; you gave a sacred oath of obedience. Don’t worryingly second-guess your orders or try to back out when the task is unpleasant. You’re serving his pleasure, not yours. The king has the last word. Who dares say to him, “What are you doing?” Carrying out orders won’t hurt you a bit; the wise person obeys promptly and accurately. Yes, there’s a right time and way for everything, even though, unfortunately, we miss it for the most part. It’s true that no one knows what’s going to happen, or when. Who’s around to tell us?
No one can control the wind or lock it in a box.
No one has any say-so regarding the day of death.
No one can stop a battle in its tracks.
No one who does evil can be saved by evil.
All this I observed as I tried my best to understand all that’s going on in this world.
Ecclesiastes 8:2-9 | MSG
IN 1994 WHEN MY FATHER was fighting a tough battle with heart disease, I took off three weeks to visit him in Florida.
Right after I returned home, I was preparing for a missions trip to Spain when I received the call: My father had another setback. I quickly returned to Florida and enjoyed another few days with one of the nicest men I ever knew. We had the funeral in Maine, and then I returned to the busy rhythm of life. A few days later I had a meeting in Connecticut and left early in the morning.
Exhaustion doesn’t even begin to accurately describe how I felt. Emotionally and physically drained, I was doing my best to hold it together as I drove down the Maine turnpike. For just a second, I glanced down at the piping hot cup of coffee in the cup holder next to me and reached for it. When I looked back up, I was veering off the road. A guardrail loomed in front of me and I knew if I didn’t change my direction then, my situation would be dire. I yanked the steering wheel to change the course of my direction. So forceful and sudden was the change of direction that I lost control of the car. Yet just when I thought I was nothing more than a helpless passenger, I regained control and began to steer the car into a safe trajectory—then I lost control again. The tires caught on the grass and the car flipped on its side…
to be continued…
What are some ways you’ve found your own eyes off the road, “missing it,” missing that opportune moment, that invitation to speak, to pray, to play? How can we be more present to and in the time before us?
“No one can control the wind or lock it in a box.” Forgive me, Abba, for the ways I have done this to you – done this to myself, to life – and all the consequent ways in which I have missed so much. Free me from the weight, the regret of that, and release me with vigor to unlock and unbox this moment. Through Jesus.