Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Good, Bad & Ugly

"The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep His commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil."
(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Ecclesiastes is kind of a "glass-half-empty" kind of book. The author has "been there, done that." He's seen everything. He's experienced it all. He has a perspective that's tempered by his vast history as being a person with privilege & power. Through it all, however, he says over and over that most of this life is boiled down to VANITY. The "stuff" of life is not all its cracked up to be. Period.

In the very last paragraph of the very last chapter we get this last pearl of wisdom: a) Fear God, b) Keep His commandments. Why? Because what we do matters. Because EVERYTHING we do will be made known - the good, the bad and the ugly! Maybe not now. Maybe not even down the road in this lifetime. But definitely in THE END - that time in which we all have to stand before our Maker.

Which could be quite overwhelming - since I know a lot of my good/bad/ugly parts! But I do have one thing in my favor: Jesus. Not that he's a magic wand to get me into eternity... but he does shower me (and everyone else who enters into a relationship with him) with grace & forgiveness. My bad/ugly parts can be made clean. My good parts are tempered with humility. And this life doesn't need to be lived in vain. Thanks be to God. AMEN.

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