The quester… that could describe my life and I like that! When I was seeking for meaning, the message of Ecclesiastes in the Bible about life as smoke + spitting into the wind spoke loud and true to my heart. Twenty seven years later, it still does. I confess the good news of the gospel to me was not Jesus and the cross but his truth of resurrection. Being part of the life force that gives hope even when it looks dark and meaningless. This book is not a favorite of many, but I chose to create typographical play of some of its words (PDF attached at the top). This one is for seekers that may not interested in the Bible or the ecclesia (a large gathering of people, often for the purpose of worship), maybe these words can resonate in their hearts and not end their search but accept that its quite a healthy place to live… as a quester. Not pretty but messy – God very present none the less…
A right time to lament and another to cheer.
A right time to hold and another to part.
A time to search and another to count your losses.
One handful of peaceful repose is better than two fistfuls of worried work-
More spitting into the wind.
It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.
God’s in charge, not you – the less you speak, the better.
Yes, we should make the most of what God gives,
both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it,
accepting what’s given and delighting in the work.
It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.
But against all illusion + fantasy + empty talk
There’s always this rock foundation: Fear God!
Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with robust heart. Oh yes – God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves (I follow this advice!)
Each day is God’s gift… Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
The words of a wise person are gracious.
Be generous! Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others.
Just as you’ll never understand the mystery of life in a pregnant woman, so you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does.
Life as we know it, precious + beautiful, ends. The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The Spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.
It’s ll smoke, nothing but smoke.
The words of the wise prod us to live well. They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are given by God, the one Shepherd. But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy.
There’s no end o the publishing of books…
The last + final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.
The Message (MSG)© Eugene Peterson