Nearing the End

The End.jpgHalf way through December, the year winds down to the end with only two weeks left to go.  I am planning to cease blogging for some time after January 6, and hope you enjoy reading the last few blogs.  I have no idea how WordPress will handle my lack of blogging, if they will cut me loose and/or delete blogs when I quit for a while.  But I suppose I can always come back and open a new one if these blogs disappear.

What will next year hold?  Some will die.  Some will prosper.  Some will experience searing pain.  Some will be comforted.  Some will rejoice, some will mourn.
Since no one knows the future,
    who can tell someone else what is to come?
As no one has power over the wind to contain it,
    so no one has power over the time of his death.”
(Ecclesiastes 8:7-8)

Of course, what we really mean when we ask such questions is “What will next year hold for  me?”  We are such a selfish lot, only concerned with our immediate comfort and conditions.  Did God intend for us to be so self-absorbed?  With seven billion of us here, plus the approximately seven billion who have been here and gone, I seriously doubt it.  That’s 14,000,000,000; that’s a lot of zeros; and some of us feel more like zeroes than others. 😦

Sunset.jpg

Back to the Garden (because I love the stories of Genesis, hidden somewhat in the gray mists of the ancient past).  Adam and Eve seemed blissfully unaware of their own condition until the Serpent came along and needled Eve into wondering if The God Who Is There was holding out on them.  The issue was trust.  Who would she believe?  The God who had supplied everything “very good” for them, or this lovely creature who said there was something missing.  (See Genesis 3.)

We know how that turned out.  And it has been that way ever since with the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve (or of Noah and his nameless wife, if you prefer).  The baby’s first cry is for comfort as he/she is removed from the warmth and darkness and quiet of the womb.  In an instant the infant becomes the center of its unknown universe, and everything in his/her life will be about “ME.”

Solomon.jpgSo what advice, what considerations, can I lead your mind to as we wind down another year?  “The Preacher,” Solomon, said it better than I ever could:

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them,”
before the sun and the light
    and the moon and the stars grow dark,
    and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
    and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,

    and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
    and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
    but all their songs grow faint;
when people are afraid of heights
    and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
    and the grasshopper drags itself along
    and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
    and mourners go about the streets.
Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,

    and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
    and the wheel broken at the well,
and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
    and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Now all has been heard;

    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7; 12-14)

The End of the World 1.jpg

Happy New Year.