Day 26: Wisdom Comes Quietly, Ecclesiastes 9:13-18

20120526-091532.jpg

Click here for today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 9:13-18

Reflection: The wisdom that saved a city came quietly and from a humble source. Wisdom rarely shouts. It speaks truth, quietly, and the one who wants to hear from wisdom must quiet themselves, ignore the chaos, and seek out the quiet humble voice.

Application: If you seek wisdom, are you quieting yourself enough to hear it?

Prayer: God, You give wisdom to those who ask. May we come humbly that we may hear the quiet voice of wisdom.

___________________________
Photo credit

Day 25: Ecclesiastes 9:9-12

20120524-022740.jpg

Click here for today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 9:9-12

Reflection: God has given. He has provided a life laid before us. Solomon, the wise man who explored all there was to find pleasure, begins wrapping up the book of Ecclesiastes by telling us to focus on that which is before us.

Application: Where has your soul sought the vanity of non-existent “greener pastures”? Where have your forsaken the persons and the work before you, pursuing an imagined reality that, deep down, you know will not satisfy?

Prayer: God, give us wisdom. Provide us the perspective to honor the work and the people you have put before us, that we may glorify Your name by working with all our might. In Jesus glorious name, Amen.

_____________________
Photo credit

Day 24: Consideration, Ecclesiastes 9:1-8

20120523-202208.jpg

Click here for today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 9:1-8

Reflection: In all his experiences, in all his wisdom, Solomon considered it all in his heart. He sought to explain it all, and in seeking, he pondered. Pondering requires stopping, breathing, reflecting. Pondering demands a complete lack of demands–allowing the thoughts and experiences to roll around in your consciousness while consolidation and contemplation bubble up from the depths of your soul, making sense of what seemed disconnected before.

Application: Do you intentionally ponder? In a world so tied to so much information all the time, I am most often distracted. Distracted by incoming, distracted by the desire to produce. Distraction remains the opposite of pondering. To ponder, I must slow, I must allow thoughts time and space to breathe, and I must be willing to accept the thoughts and wisdom of God to explain those which connect in my heart. Let’s plan on giving ourselves time to ponder that which occurs around us rather than living as a slave to the demands before us.

Prayer: God, may wee breathe, take time, and seek You in the silence that we may understand more Your will. Amen.

__________________
Image by Henk L

Day 23: All the Work of God, Ecclesiastes 8:10-17

Click here for today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 8:10-17

Reflection:  This passage highlights something I find difficult to swallow sometimes: God does not work quickly.  His mercy, His patience, and His desire for all men to come to Him  trumps my desire to have quick and swift justice.  And yet, I am so very thankful He shows mercy, patience and the desire for me to come to Him with myself.  For howmany times did the patience result in my turning away from that thing, that thought, that potential action–where had He worked more quickly, I would have been flattened.  He smiles when we return; and He is willing to wait to get that smile.

Application: When it seems that the work before you is not rewarded, or those around you are rewarded unjustly, admit it.  Ignoring the reality of that feeling allows for it to fester, to grow horns, and to spread disease throughout your perspective.  Admit the feeling, then allow God to show you His way.  But be wise: without first admitting the feeling is present, you may be tainting anything He is trying to show you.  Be honest with yourself, be honest with Him, and listen to what He has to say.

Prayer: God, we share your sense of justice–or how we interpret your sense of justice.  Show us Your mercy–show us what that looks like in the every day.  Show us Your patience, that we may understand Your hand.  Show us Your heart for people, that we may catch a glimpse of Your will in each situation.  Show us–You.  Amen.

 

________________________________

Image by Peter Caulfield

Day 22: Questioning Authority? Ecclesiastes 8:1-9

20120520-203454.jpg

Click here for today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 8:1-9

Reflection: Solomon, the wise declares to be careful if considering questioning the king. Yet society tells us over and over to question authority. I do not say to blindly follow, but Solomon’s point is different. He says to be wise before speaking out against a king.

Application: Do you honor the “kings” in your life, those in positions of authority over you? Your boss? Your pastor? Your husband? Your president? Regardless of your thoughts on their policies, do you stop before speaking words against them?

Prayer: God, may we be slow to speak, quick to show deference, and even quicker to show respect. You have placed all authorities in our lives, fair and evil, and You have commanded godly behavior of us. Give us pause before words escape. Help us tame the tongue that we may be wise. Amen.

__________________
Photo credit