Thursday, February 18, 2010

Holden and Solomon Walk Into a Bar . . . er Coffee Shop

kay I guess I'm over my self-pity party. Sorry. but some days I (and most of us I believe) can get so discouraged.

When I first read a Catcher in the Rye a year ago, I heard echoes of King Solomon's voice in Ecclesiastes. It is funny but every time I heard a preacher preach from Ecclesiastes (or even reference it) they always presented it as the view of a unbeliever.

I just read it from cover to cover in the Message. I see many provocative statements by Solomon and I sense his honesty, and his wisdom.

While Holden looked at the world, de-constructed the social forms, as people being phonies, Solomon does a similar thing. All the efforts are chasing after the wind and have no lasting purpose.

I wanted to think about some of his (Solomon's) difficult statements that are totally inconsistent with how we (or at least I) were taught to look at Christian living.

Here is an interesting one:

7:1 Crying is better than laughing.
It blotches the face but it scours the heart.

Here's another one:

14 On a good day, enjoy yourself;
On a bad day, examine your conscience.
God arranges for both kinds of days
So that we won't take anything for granted.


8: 14 Here's something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what's coming to the wicked, and bad people get what's coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It's smoke (and mirrors).
15 So, I'm all for just going ahead and having a good time—the best possible. The only earthly good men and women can look forward to is to eat and drink well and have a good time—compensation for the struggle for survival these few years God gives us on earth.

From Chapter 9

7-10 Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don't skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God's gift. It's all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there's neither work to do nor thoughts to think
In the company of the dead, where you're most certainly headed.

There's more that caught my attention and I'll be back.

20 There's not one totally good person on earth,
Not one who is truly pure and sinless.

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