Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, when a man's trouble is heavy upon him." Ecclesiastes 8:5-6

These were memory verses of a good friend while I was in college. When he shared them, I looked them up later and realized that these could apply to me. This particular friend was structured in managing his time, and I was anything but. Proper times and procedures for things seemed like a chemistry lab experiment. I had a lot of chemistry labs, and they taught me a lot about following directions and observation. But that was a controlled environment, so unlike real life were there could be numerous variables and unpredictability.

That I, through skill, could deal with life's troubles kind of blew my mind. It involved timing and doing the right things the right way, specifically for "every delight". I've meditated on these verses for years. The idea that keeps coming back to me is that what I once thought was the "right way" doesn't seem like that to me anymore. As I've gotten older, life's complications makes having the "proper time and procedures" a little more harder to know. I guess that's why it takes an exceptionally wise heart.

I've found out that it is less about having a systematic way of approaching a problem and more about trusting God to help me get a broader view of it. Things eventually fall into place and if they don't, it is out of my ability to handle or control it. Acceptence goes an extremely long way. Minding my own business and doing my own part as well as letting God, and other people, do theirs. In that sense, I am keeping myself under a royal command or in other words, under God's control.

As for my old friend, I hope these verses guided him well over the years. At the time he shared these verses, he was applying them towards his love life. Which also blew my mind back then. For me, that area of my life seemed like a sink or swim proposition. I was flayling around in the murky waters of dating, trying to hang onto Jesus for dear life. Making wise decisions about how to operate in matters of the heart appeared to be important but also very difficult. And I was right, as experience bore out. There was no amount of wisdom that can protect myself from getting my heart broken, but wisdom proved to be a lifeline in the midst of the pain. Again, there is no easy way to love, but love can ease the way.

No comments: