It doesn’t make any sense…

A lack of understanding.  A failure to grasp.  How absurd.  I don’t get it…

Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23

Nothing makes sense!
Everything is nonsense.
    I have seen it all—
    nothing makes sense!

It Is Senseless To Be Wise

12 I said these things when I lived in Jerusalem as king of Israel. 13 With all my wisdom I tried to understand everything that happens here on earth. And God has made this so hard for us humans to do. 14 I have seen it all, and everything is just as senseless as chasing the wind.


18 Suddenly I realized that others would someday get everything I had worked for so hard, then I started hating it all. 19 Who knows if those people will be sensible or stupid? Either way, they will own everything I have earned by hard work and wisdom. It doesn’t make sense.

20 I thought about all my hard work, and I felt depressed. 21 When we use our wisdom, knowledge, and skill to get what we own, why do we have to leave it to someone who didn’t work for it? This is senseless and wrong. 22 What do we really gain from all of our hard work? 23 Our bodies ache during the day, and work is torture. Then at night our thoughts are troubled. It just doesn’t make sense.

The book of Ecclesiastes is a reflection on life – with all its contradictions, mysteries, injustices and frustrations.

The author does, in fact, come to the conclusion that life is useless and meaningless.

I have heard it described as “the only book in the bible written by an atheist”.  I have also heard it cited as an example of the breadth of faith – including pessimism and doubt.  I like that – that faith is big enough to include doubt and questions.  That to me, makes it a gift.  As people of faith, we don’t have to feel that we have all the answers.  We can still have questions and doubts and still believe in God – whether it makes sense or not.

For faith is not about things having to make sense. It is not about having all the answers.  If it did it would not be faith. By definition it is an act of trust. An element of doubt is perfectly acceptable – and makes God belief in him far more real and useful.

We all have times when life makes no sense, days (or even weeks or years) when we feel like we’re chasing the wind.

Do we need to understand?  If we actually understood would life be any easier – or would it in reality make it worse?  Sometimes we should search for answers, but at other times it is ok to live with the questions.  God doesn’t mind.  He isn’t offended that we ask them.

Can we sometimes leave things not making sense – and be happy that to God they do?  To remember that he holds the bigger picture?

We can carry on chasing the wind, or we can rest and be and let God be God – because he’s good at it.

Can we live with things we don’t understand, can’t grasp, don’t get?

There is space for it in the bible without God falling apart, or faith being lost.  I think God can take it from us.

Can we ultimately trust and leave it to God to sort out

I have so many questions,
a great long list…

Things I don’t understand,
don’t think are fair,
can’t work out why.

I can chase around looking for answers,
and sometimes that is the right thing to do,
but I thank you
that it is ok
to have questions,
to not know all the answers.

I thank you that you are
holding everything together,
whether I understand how or not.

And I trust you to get on with it


~ by pamjw on July 29, 2013.

12 Responses to “Nonsense”

  1. sometimes it isn’t lack of understanding which is the problem… it’s just the apparently never-ending draining-ness of life. That’s when, for me, it becomes _really_ hard to continue to trust that God is… can God take it from me when the honest answer is “no, just this minute I _don’t_ trust”… in other words, when faith is teetering on the brink of “lost”…?
    maybe even more to the point – for how much longer can _I_ take it, never mind God?

    but thanks for this, for the reminder that it’s OK to be where I am… and at Vespers last night the reading was Abraham arguing with God about the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah – the vicar emphasised that arguing with God is OK. Doesn’t, this minute, make me feel any better but does at least prevent guilt kicking in on top of everything.

    And I suspect getting the pain under control again risked a couple of v strong pills at lunch-time) coupled with a good night’s sleep (they’re here overnight!) will also help! 🙂

    • I agree on the never-endingness – which in itself causes confusion and questions. And the being on the brink is a huge question mark. Sometimes the only way to survive is just trust – beacuse there is nothing else you can do and the alternative is worse.

      Honesty with God is never a bad thing, or a failure. It shows it is a real relationship. We should never feel guilty about questioning and arguing. God, I’m sure, is just glad that we keep talking

      • thanks for this. was in a very black place for an hour or two earlier – sorry. And trust is, I’ve realised over the past couple of days, something I struggle with generally (for good reason originally, but not now). Maybe that’s partly what this is all about. 🙂

      • Nothing to he sorry for. Darkness is overwhelming. Strangely, though I struggle with trusting people, I don’t with God. Why times have been their very darkest the only thing I’ve been able to hold on to is the safety net that God is

      • that’s what’s been so odd today – I’m usually the same as you re trust. I’ll mull it over… _something’s_ going on – just not quite sure what yet. thanks again for once again being the channel… 🙂

  2. Gosh – I just listened to the audio bit now the blokes have gone out again…
    We sang that at the wedding we went to on Friday. It’s beautiful.
    Thank you so much for posting that link.

  3. very powerful indeed… I played the clip several times through and then a couple of lines stayed in my head – _not_ the “trust” words, God was more gentle than that (see above) but “For your endless mercy follows me, Your goodness will lead me home”. Couldn’t get it out of my head – a bit like a mantra I suppose – and relentlessly the fear and pain and darkness were driven back and the light returned.

  4. and now I can scarcely believe how I could possibly have lost sight of the goodness of God… at least even in the darkness I remembered the light as feeling “true” and was aware that the darkness was somehow “false”.
    I’ve ordered a CD with the track on, for commuting to should the need arise… 🙂

  5. […] faith is just that, as we considered last week. If we believe in God, part of that is trusting him.  Allowing him to do what is right, not what […]

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