In teaching literature, I encounter most of life’s greatest theme in my classroom. Regardless of comfort level, the theme of understanding and dealing with death surfaces frequently, particularly pre-20th century. Before modern medicine, people knew to expect death at anytime; therefore, they read about death, they thought about death, and they dealt with death–before it happened. Sadly enough, as we wade through early British literature and read about death, more death, and even more death; students tend to say I don’t really think about it, and I don’t have time to think about it…life is busy right now….study, sports, friends, more sports, building my college application. Yes, there are many students that deal with death on a regular basis because of suicide attempts or the death of a close friend or family member. However, how well are they really dealing with it?
I also don’t think this just applies to today’s teenagers. How many adults are shoving this whole idea of death and eternity out of their mind? Perhaps their mind drifts to the afterlife, but an email from the boss pops up, or the Blackberry begins to buzz. I myself am guilty of casting aside eternal ideas in order to get through the present. As of recent, I’ve noticed that I don’t even have enough time for Divine Intervention. If I saw someone in need of help, would I be able to stop, or would that nagging feeling that I have 50 other pressing matters keep me from veering off-course? Be assured that Satan loves seeing this microcosm of superficial busyness, and I am so guilty of being trapped. Thankfully, God convicts and reminds, bringing me to a realization that this life is utterly meaningless unless I have lived for Him. Below, I’ve copied/pasted Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 from Biblegateway.com. What a great reminder. Do you have any strategies that you use to avoid getting caught in the meaningless and busyness of this world? Please share anything that would help us.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 (English Standard Version)
All Is Vanity
1The words of(A) the Preacher,[a] the son of David,(B) king in Jerusalem.
2(C) Vanity[b] of vanities, says(D) the Preacher,
(E) vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3(F) What(G) does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but(H) the earth remains forever.
5(I) The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens[c] to the place where it rises.
6(J) The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7All(K) streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
8All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
(L) the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9(M) What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
10Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been(N) already
in the ages before us.
11There is no(O) remembrance of former things,[d]
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things[e] yet to be
among those who come after.