Sunday, May 8, 2011

the eternal question

I realized today that the book of Ecclesiastes is the most...relevant for my current situation. Lately I've been pondering (to put it simply) the meaning of life, and what is my purpose here on Earth. Why am I born to this particular family at this time of the century, why here in KL, Malaysia, why a girl instead of a boy, why did everything that has happened to me, happened? How old will I live up to, what will I become? What will happen in the next year after graduation? Will I be successful, or not? Will I be rich? (starting to sound very que sara-ish!)

And most of all, why even bother? When you know that the end will definitely come?

The worst part is that I actually look forward to (a normal painless accidental) death because then I won't have to bother with whatever 'trials and errors' that life throws to us, whatever success that I will see after 30 years of toil, children that I've spent a difficult 20 years to raise...

What is the point of everything when right now I don't feel that anything is worth living for?

I don't mean to sound so depressed & emotional; I've just reached the point in life where I want to question, well, life itself. And this is where the book of Ecclesiastes comes in.

I've not read the Bible in a long time. Yes, I'm aware of this particular chapter but I don't think I paid it any more attention than the ones with the 'interesting stories', just because it wasn't relevant to me. Not yet anyway. My NIV Thompson Student Bible says that the book of Ecclesiastes is writter for 'those who seek meaning and significance in life, especially young people.'

You cannot get any closer than that. This book was written around 3000 years ago for ME at THIS moment in my life.

The conclusion (allow me to fast forward a little) is that God ultimately is the reason for a fulfilling life. Which is what I came out with in my 'existentially alive' post on March 12! I just haven't had the faintest idea how to proceed from my conclusion. Things just started going crazy, my life as I'd known had started to unravel, I was busy trying to fit back the pieces and I got distracted.

The book of Ecclesiastes starts off dramatically with a quote:

"Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless."

Much as I appreciate his dramatic understanding for my situation, I feel that fortunately, I'm still sane enough to know that my life, at least, is not 'that' bad.

The author (may have been Solomon) continues discussing the monotony of life (that's me), the search for happiness (this too!), the weariness of life (umm this is getting creepy) and more (all relatable to me), ending with the most important: author's conclusion. No point complaining about how useless everything is when we don't get a solution in the end.

"Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgement,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil."
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Today I registered for Kingdom Keys in my church. At least we're starting somewhere.

I started off reading this book today when my dad showed me a quote about preferring death to life. However when I actually started reading this book I couldn't find the particular quote which I felt at that time was so relevant to me. What I found was actually the solution for my situation:

"So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. The joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun." 8:14-15

"-then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it." 8:16-17

What I've learnt is simply 'to obey God while also being happy on Earth'. It may sound near impossible seeing that everyone has to reach a point in life where they feel that there's just no point anymore, but try hard we must to enjoy what has already been given to us: the gift of precious life itself.

3 things to say:

Peacemaker-J said...

We live to live. Embrace it. And you should think on how to live, not why!

Samantha Chow said...

It's easy to say but not do. You'll reach a point in your life where you'll want to question everything, believe me. :)

Peacemaker-J said...

I think I won't though. Apparently I'd played a game with a character who's so obsessed to find out the meaning of life, and I learnt all I need from there.