Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Remodeling the Seasons of the Heart

If your past self from two years ago looked forward at the person you are today, would your past self be pleased or disappointed?

This is the question I found myself facing yesterday afternoon as I sat in pajama pants on my couch, lit only by the light of my computer screen and what little sunlight managed to make its way through the blanket of clouds outside.  It seemed a fitting question for December 30th.  Tonight, around the world, people will celebrate the new year and wish farewell to the old one.  Some people wait in fearful anticipation of the coming year, some are more than happy to wish 2014 farewell, and even others still, greet 2015 with excitement.  Personally, I fall into the group that happily wishes 2014 farewell. 

But regardless of which category you fall into, I can pretty much guarantee that we are all very different people from who we were at the beginning of 2014, and even more so from 2013.  This week I took a walk down memory lane and was forced to realize how different of a person I have become from just two years previous...and I was not sure I liked it.  Granted, there are certainly changes that I like, and some battles I have won, but in reality I think the things I would like to see change about myself far outnumber the things I actually like.

So there I sat, crushed to realize that I had become a person I did not actually like.  I don’t know where I’m going in life, and I am not sure I want to have anything to do with my old life.  Searching and praying for answers, the Lord, ever good and faithful, brought me broken and bewildered to the book of Ecclesiastes. 

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless”
(Ecclesiastes 1:1-2, NIV).

Here I was, thinking I had wasted the past two years as I read Solomon’s words.  “This guy gets me!” I thought.  Here is a king who has been blessed with everything a man could want, wisdom, wealth, women, etc. and he is looking back on his life and calls it meaningless!  For the rest of the evening, I sat there on the couch and soaked up all 12 chapters of Ecclesiastes, and although I had read those same words, countless times, I was blessed with a fresh glance at the book.  And there in those pages, I found all the answers to my many questions.