The Weight of Striving

It was a typical Friday in the office. I sat down to review my to do list, going over curriculum and volunteers to recruit. But as I sat there staring at all the things I needed to accomplish, I realized my heart wasn’t right. I just had this cloud of negativity hanging over me. I share desk space with our Youth Pastor Josh, so I turned to him and said, “I’ll be back to work and brain storm our events more, but I need to go repent first”. I knew my heart wasn’t right.

I closed myself in a room and opened my bible. Strangely, I felt led to read a book other than the one I had been studying at home. I opened to Ecclesiastes. For someone already feeling weighed down, this is a strange place to turn. This book is known for being a bit depressing, cynical at times even. But for the first time in my 30 years of following Christ, I read this book in a different light.

 It was like a bath for my soul. It was cleaning my heart and bringing refreshment. I no longer saw the negativity of the book’s theme, “everything is meaningless”. Rather, I saw the necessary reframing of life. It was like God was reminding me, “you’re not that big of a deal and either are your problems! There is a season for everything and everything comes to pass. Stop getting so caught up in your own worries and just fear the Lord”. This was the perspective I needed.  

There is a weight on us when we forget who really is in charge. We so often want to prepare for every possible tragedy. We want to control every outcome in our lives. We treat life like a competition fueled by jealousy of others’ successes. We forget that in the end, we all die. What really matters is enjoying the gifts of life now, working hard, and respecting God’s authority. After reading this book my heart felt lighter. I was reminded to not take myself so seriously. I hope it does the same for you too. We all need those moments of repentance.