Ecclesiastes 3:1-11;Psalm 144:1-4; Luke 9:18-22
Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs
What advantage has the worker from his toil? (Ecclesiastes 3:9)
If today’s reading were some kind of riddle, the answer would probably be “a funeral.”
This passage from Ecclesiastes focuses on two big challenges of our lives. It reminds us that there will be seasons when we will endure trials and seasons filled with joy. It even addresses the questions we often ponder about what God is trying to accomplish through us. How can our brief time on Earth possibly make a difference? To what effect is all of our toil?
A funeral often gives us the opportunity to see how a single life has affected so many. It’s the goal of a eulogy to examine the ups and downs of a person’s life, reflecting on the good that has come from it all. People often share stories about how the deceased person has touched their lives and how his or her struggles taught them faith and perseverance. The puzzle comes together piece by piece as this person’s significance becomes clearer and clearer.
Of course, we don’t need to have a funeral in order to reflect on our lives or discover the impact that other people have had on us. We can do this any time we want. Using a simple tool like a prayer journal every day can help us become more reflective. And honoring other people? We can make it a point to do this on a regular basis. It can all start right now!
Take some time today to think about the differences, both small and large, that just one person has made in your life and in the world around you. Write that person a note or find some other way to tell that person how God has worked through him or her. Then spend some time looking at your own life. Try to recognize the ways that you have made a difference in other people’s lives. Know that every positive thing that you do, no matter how small, is part of the way you are fulfilling God’s mission for you.
“Lord, give me the wisdom and patience to walk with you through all the different seasons in life. Teach me to encourage and honor other people for the ways that they have brought me closer to you.”~wau