the Brighter Side of Meaninglessness…

sometimes i wonder if i’d be a millionaire by now, if only i had tithed for the last 7 years. imagine all the closer parking spots i’ve missed out on, or the bargains at the grocery store & the mall. maybe i’d be married by now and have 9 kids (i’d birth 10 but tithe one of them)…

oh tithing, you’re always holding me back.

i didn’t get the flu this year. i got the shot.
i didn’t get the H1N1 either. i didn’t get the shot.
i’ve kissed a few guys in my time and i never got mono.
i danced at a wedding and i didn’t get pregnant.
i was texting while i was driving and didn’t have an accident.
i had a piece of cheesecake and didn’t have an explosion.
i yelled at the crazy driver downtown and didn’t get killed.

i returned a kind answer to a bully and he told me to shut the hell up.
i kept my cool and didn’t lose my head and she still got angry.
i played by the rules and gave all the right answers and still didn’t get chosen.
i opened my wallet, my home, my heart and i haven’t heard from them in months.
i submitted, i served, i respected, i loved, and i wasn’t what he wanted.
“i let go, i let God”, and i let opportunity pass right by.
i took time for a sabbath and i got a parking ticket.

so what’s the point? where is my punishment? where is my reward? where is my consequence? 3 words: mercy, grace, & misunderstanding. as humans we crave punishment & reward. we need consequence or we feel that our actions are meaningless. i am one of the crazies within the church that thinks solomon wasn’t off of his rocker when he wrote ecclesiastes. he was the wisest man and perhaps he has been misunderstood. for me, it isn’t cynical or depressing to realize that “everything is meaningless”, it is actually quite freeing. he concluded his teaching with this: “fear God & do what He tells you.” that’s it folks. paul spoke of the one reward promised, that your race will end. you will arrive at the end and that is your greatest reward. because at the end you will meet with your maker, your Father, your Sovereign God.

Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning.

Psalm 119:130

What are your thoughts?

*originally posted 3/24/10

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  • Comments (10)
  1. so much to grasp in one sitting. here’s a few things that stuck out.

    “i opened my wallet, my home, my heart and i haven’t heard from them in months.”

    “as humans we crave punishment & reward.”

    “paul spoke of the one reward promised, that your race will end.”

    as i celebrate the freedom of accepting the “meaningless”, i am also greatly distraught at the causality (cause and effect) teachings that have so disabled the church.

    while i don’t debate this principle’s involvement in the physical action of humankind (Aristotle’s 4 causes), i believe it greatly contradicts the spiritual workings of grace.

    we have been led to believe that we are always rewarded for our spiritual achievements. we have been led to believe that we are always punished for our sin (diversion from our path). although there may be physical consequences to our said actions, true grace is not the consequence of our actions, whether “good” or “bad”. it is the consequence of a sovereign deity.

    our life was not meant to be lived out clamoring for reward and punishment, but more so focusing on the path/journey we run. we ought not be concerned with trivial trophies along the way, but the true reward of running a good race, which is our relational equity with God.

    great post little sister. thank you for sharing your journey. and for the record, i get better parking spots since i stopped tithing…which is neither here nor there.

    • enjoyed the blog and your response.

      • JuliaKate
      • July 7th, 2010

      you heard me. you heard my frustration with the Church that talks out of both sides of its mouth. this behavior breeds discontentment and confusion. sloppy sloppy sloppy. people who read this may be so thrown off by the references to tithing, but get passed the deep inbred rhetoric and you can maybe just maybe hear the message of Jesus… a simpler life is offered. Put away your calculators, cancel your competitions, turn your back on ambition, lay down the law books, and simply do this… give up your life and walk out a new journey with His Holy Spirit. until the day we meet again… hmmm. 😉

    • Dorienne
    • July 7th, 2010

    What strong words of agreement can I say that you haven’t heard me say before?

    It all is encapsulated with…I sure love you Swodecks! 🙂

    • Thanks for that Dorienne… cuz we are not always loved by man…and his opinions.

      Blessed to know you,

      Berna Lee

      • JuliaKate
      • July 7th, 2010

      keep doing what you do Dorienne amongst your span of influence… the Elston’s are rich in wisdom & discernment;)

  2. Most of us want to have the parameters by which to live…kind of white flag check points on the path to tell us we are doing well. I get the concept of the rule markers…I just want the markers to represent the truth. What if every white flag you see on the path signified that you are close to your reward. The 50th flag will soon cause you to lose hope, especially when everybody else knows that there are 1000’s more flags to go! Each time you tithe does not mean you are closer to the finish line and your blessings are waiting…but rather the state of being generous, giving and loving means that you are there ~ in the moment of your journey! I have given to “house the presentation” of the gospel, so that those who are not yet in love with God and have the desire to sacrifice with a blanket on the grass and someone else repeating the message they just heard is not an option! But once love is found, experienced and believed…may they too stand up from the pews and meet them where they are – for God’s sake!!!

      • JuliaKate
      • July 7th, 2010

      this is some great imagery mom. and though the comment is stuffed with wisdom, i wanted to quote this in particular “Each time you tithe does not mean you are closer to the finish line and your blessings are waiting… but rather the state of being generous, giving and loving means that you are there ~ in the moment of your journey!” so good.

    • Marie B
    • July 8th, 2010

    Ahhh… Julia! Your words, your heart are so refreshing, I feel like I just drank from a mountain spring. Thank you!

  3. that was yummy.

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