“Don’t allow past moments to hinder your future.”~TB
Painful experiences can be used in two ways. It can either leave you feeling like you burned your hand on a stove, avoiding future situations. Or, you realize that the burn has healed and that not every similar moment or situation will provide the same experience. When you don’t allow God into your traumatic experiences, phantom pain resides along with visceral playbacks of the experience. Of course, the opposition wants you to remain there, but friends, you can move passed those hurtful moments.
When you let God into your hurtful situations, the level of healing you can receive will make you see how much you can handle. It’s not that your pain wasn’t real or that your experience doesn’t matter, but through God’s love you can’t help but bask in the Truth of salvation. Knowing how much God loves you is the key to healing and moving on. The lies of the world will keep you in bondage, but God can and will clean and bandage your pain, so that they heal. So let go of the visceral moments in your mind so that you can be who you are made to be.
What visceral moments are on replay in your mind?
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1Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”
2Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky.
3Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.
4Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.
5Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.
6Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well.
7For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
8“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless.”
9Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them.
10The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.
11The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.
12But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.
13That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.
14God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
“God is not some magical genie, standing by to grant your every wish.”~TB
I’ll be blunt, humans are dumb. Yes, all of us. We want what we want, when we want it, even foolishly believing with deserve it. Even those who claim to be wise fall into this trap from time to time. Just because you’re living right does not mean God owes you everything you ask for. No, he’s not a genie in a bottle, but rather, our Father in Heaven. Know the difference. It is a waste to only look at God as a gift giver and that mentality makes you miss out on the greatest relationship of all.
A Gift Given
A relationship built on wants and desires is a transactional one. If you believe that you can actually give something of value to God in exchange for your wishlist, you certainly need to reevaluate your mindset. Aside from the ultimate gift— salvation— God has given each of us the opportunity to draw close to Him. This relationship forms all others and through time, pruning, perseverance, He will teach you the true meaning of being one of His.
Are you looking for a Genie in a bottle or for your Father in Heaven?
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1Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.
2But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.
3When clouds are heavy, the rains come down. Whether a tree falls north or south, it stays where it falls.
4Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.
5Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.
6Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.
7Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning.
8When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life. But let them also remember there will be many dark days. Everything still to come is meaningless.
9Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.
10So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless.
“God will not let your tests overtake you. Conversely He will not bless you with more if you cannot maintain what is already in your possession.”~TB
Have you ever noticed a pattern where certain opportunities seemed block for one reason or another? Well, it’s not always an oppositional offense, but rather, unfinished business. If you are experiencing a cork in your situation, check your work. A wise employer will not overload you with new assignments if your old ones are withering away at your desk. So if you’re looking around for your next step in life, make sure you’ve done that God has asked you to do.
Get it Done
Whatever it is that you are tasked to do, do it and do it well. Holding onto one assignment and expecting another to follow before you’ve finished your work is a foolish practice. Don’t waste your time dreaming about the next thing, when today’s work is still unfinished. When your work is done, then you can reap the benefits of a job well-done. In order to do this, step aside from your pride, ask God what needs to be done, and get to it.
What unfinished business is bottlenecking your next assignment?
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1As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor.
2A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.
3You can identify fools just by the way they walk down the street!
4If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes.
5There is another evil I have seen under the sun. Kings and rulers make a grave mistake
6when they give great authority to foolish people and low positions to people of proven worth.
7I have even seen servants riding horseback like princes—and princes walking like servants!
8When you dig a well, you might fall in. When you demolish an old wall, you could be bitten by a snake.
9When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you. When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax.
10Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.
11If a snake bites before you charm it, what’s the use of being a snake charmer?
12Wise words bring approval, but fools are destroyed by their own words.
13Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their conclusions will be wicked madness;
14they chatter on and on. No one really knows what is going to happen; no one can predict the future.
15Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they can’t even find their way home.
16What sorrow for the land ruled by a servant, the land whose leaders feast in the morning.
17Happy is the land whose king is a noble leader and whose leaders feast at the proper time to gain strength for their work, not to get drunk.
18Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house.
19A party gives laughter, wine gives happiness, and money gives everything!
20Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts. And don’t make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said.
“Be glad that God doesn’t invoke the same corrupt policies as we do to one another.”~TB
Greed and thievery are cloaked in rules and regulations, trapping the innocent and the uninformed. Our society steals earnings from the vulnerable and act like it’s the cost of doing business. How corrupt! Those in charge are indifferent, hiding behind ‘policy’, knowing full well they are engaging in immoral and evil practices and those enslaved mindlessly endure such abuse. What a world. Friends, we must turn away from stealing from our neighbors and tolerating such abuses, unless slavery is what you truly crave. These policies— legalistic and immoral— are the very same things spoken in the Bible.
Image if you came before God to confess and repent your sins and he tells you that you’ve maxed out your Grace deductible and it’s off to hell you go. Fortunately for us, His Grace is infinite and there is no fine print or shady fines to trip us up. When you come before Him, you don’t have to worry about the red tape or policies of this world. He loves you as you are. There is no way to overdraft God’s love for you. Instead of following the ways of the world, adopt God’s method of love. This way you can love others as God loves you. It is there where we can begin to change the corrupt ways of this world.
If God is so merciful and lenient, why aren’t we?
1This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor.
2The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t.
3It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway.
4There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”
5The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.
6Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.
7So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!
8Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!
9Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.
10Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
11I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
12People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.
13Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works.
14There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it.
15A poor, wise man knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him.
16So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.
17Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king.
18Better to have wisdom than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good
“If the opposition’s tools weren’t effective, he wouldn’t use them.”~TB
The devil can only push you around if you allow him to. That doesn’t mean his attacks won’t be challenging. It means that you have a choice in how you respond to them. Don’t cower in fear, stand tall on the Truth.
Sometimes God will allow a hardship to reoccur because He’s looking for you to choose the right reaction. If you continually react in fear and submission, you aren’t passing the test. Instead of reacting fearfully, react strategically. Know that it’s only a smokescreen and you can overcome whatever the evil one throws your way.
Are you ready to stop reacting with fear?
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1How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness.
2Obey the king since you vowed to God that you would.
3Don’t try to avoid doing your duty, and don’t stand with those who plot evil, for the king can do whatever he wants.
4His command is backed by great power. No one can resist or question it.
5Those who obey him will not be punished. Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right,
6for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.
7Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen?
8None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked.
9I have thought deeply about all that goes on here under the sun, where people have the power to hurt each other.
10I have seen wicked people buried with honor. Yet they were the very ones who frequented the Temple and are now praised in the same city where they committed their crimes! This, too, is meaningless.
11When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.
12But even though a person sins a hundred times and still lives a long time, I know that those who fear God will be better off.
13The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows.
14And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless!
15So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.
16In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night.
17I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.
“Examine how you spend your work hours because some work isn’t work at all.”~TB
You can stay busy and still be off task, not completing your assignment. This world is ripe for distraction, disruption, and the like, so an undisciplined worker doesn’t need much help in wasting their time. The guise of being busy is a great smokescreen to make you appear to be more productive that you actually are, but the results of your harvest will always tell the truth.
You can’t engage in wasted work and expect a positive outcome come harvest time. Sure, in your mind you worked hard, but all of the “work” did not produce any fruit! If you’re harvest is sparse, ask God on how to change your work ethic so that the next harvest will reap better results. Wasted work is a trap in the mind that keeps you from completing your assignments. Don’t fall for the trap. Work honestly and humbling to avoid wasted work.
Are you working hard or hardly working?
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1A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
2Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies— so the living should take this to heart.
3Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.
4A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.
5Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool.
6A fool’s laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless.
7Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart.
8Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.
9Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.
10Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.
11Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life.
12Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.
13Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.
15I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.
16So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself?
17On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why die before your time?
18Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes.
19One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town!
20Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
21Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you.
22For you know how often you yourself have cursed others.
23I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” But it didn’t work.
24Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find.
25I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.
26I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.
27“This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle.
28Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman!
29But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”
“Adjust yourself to the Key of Christ so that you are in harmony with His will for your life.”~TB
When you are operating under your own accord, you are in the key of you. This means you’d rather play your tune rather than the tune of God. As humans, we aren’t that bright, often tricking one another into doing our will. How foolish! Left to your own devices, humans will perish, because they refused to get in concert with Christ. If you want to experience the joyous tune that can only come from our Father in Heaven. Change keys.
If you’re off key and want to get onto the right one, transpose. Ditch your key for God’s so that He can unlock the Truth and write it on your hearts, minds, and souls. While the tune you were playing may be catchy and popular, God’s tune transcends all styles and is timeless, immortal, and original. You can’t duplicate His music on your own. Instead, ask Him to teach you His key so that you can experience the wonderful sounds of God.
Are you ready to stop playing in the wrong key?
1There is another serious tragedy I have seen under the sun, and it weighs heavily on humanity.
2God gives some people great wealth and honor and everything they could ever want, but then he doesn’t give them the chance to enjoy these things. They die, and someone else, even a stranger, ends up enjoying their wealth! This is meaningless—a sickening tragedy.
3A man might have a hundred children and live to be very old. But if he finds no satisfaction in life and doesn’t even get a decent burial, it would have been better for him to be born dead.
4His birth would have been meaningless, and he would have ended in darkness. He wouldn’t even have had a name,
5and he would never have seen the sun or known of its existence. Yet he would have had more peace than in growing up to be an unhappy man.
6He might live a thousand years twice over but still not find contentment. And since he must die like everyone else—well, what’s the use?
7All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough.
8So are wise people really better off than fools? Do poor people gain anything by being wise and knowing how to act in front of others?
9Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
10Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.
11The more words you speak, the less they mean. So what good are they?
12In the few days of our meaningless lives, who knows how our days can best be spent? Our lives are like a shadow. Who can tell what will happen on this earth after we are gone?
“God will send you to unexpected places not to punish you, but to remind you of your purpose and who made you.”~TB
I made an unexpected trip to Tennessee about 2 weeks ago. I had plans to go to Virginia, but things happened to deter that plan. The woman that was hosting me was a kind and gregarious lady, very interested in spirits, practicing all faiths, witchcraft, and ‘healing’. Now, I’m not one to be shy about telling people when they’re wrong, but for the sake of getting along, I politely nodded and moved on the subject. Interestingly enough, she kept prompting me to share what I believed.
Pulling a Jonah
During our chat, I was annoyed because I didn’t really feel like having this conversation. Days prior, I was in Charlotte NC on a hike and someone had smashed my driver side window and stole my wallet, laptop, guitar, and a few meaningful items that I cannot replicate. It was a very deflating experience, especially being so far from home. Needless to say, I wasn’t in the mood for sharing the Good News. But something in this woman’s eyes made me realize that she wasn’t looking for a debate, but rather the Truth. I felt the gentle nudge to do my part. So I shared it with her.
I found out that my host wasn’t always into witchcraft and multiple faiths. She was a believer that fell through hard times and walked away. During this conversation, I was reminded that we all get weary, and the opposition will always push us to the brink to get us to walk away from the Truth. I also realized that me running into this woman was not only for her benefit, but for my own. As Christ followers know, it can be tough during times and some battles can seem unfair and punitive. I say all this to say, that whenever you’re going through an intense struggle or bouts of depressing lows, in those moments, look for the reminders of who you are and who you belong to. He’s with you in all things and is there to guide you if you choose to seek Him.
Are you checking your reminders?
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1As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.
2Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.
3Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.
4When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him.
5It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.
6Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.
7Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead.
8Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy.
9Even the king milks the land for his own profit!
10Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!
11The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!
12People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep.
13There is another serious problem I have seen under the sun. Hoarding riches harms the saver.
14Money is put into risky investments that turn sour, and everything is lost. In the end, there is nothing left to pass on to one’s children.
15We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us.
16And this, too, is a very serious problem. People leave this world no better off than when they came. All their hard work is for nothing—like working for the wind.
17Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud—frustrated, discouraged, and angry.
18Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.
19And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.
20God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.
“Study hard for the tests in your life unless you want to be in God’s summer school.”~TB
Ever notice how the same issues keep coming back like a revolving door? Well, it’s because you’re still struggling with the same trials, refusing to graduate on to the next level. God will never level up a person who’s failing their tests. So, instead of moving on, you’ll be lovingly placed in summer school, where you will experience the same problems in different contexts. Friends, humility in understanding that we’re all flawed goes a long way in overcoming your footholds.
If the chapter you’re on is causing you trouble, reach out to the Almighty tutor so that He can teach you how to pass. Remember that these tests are open book and you can use the Bible on each and every one of them. Of course, this requires you to continually study and crack open the Book in the first place! Pride makes the school of life hard and until you can come from a place of humility and meekness, some tests will keep you held back from where God wants you to go. Don’t get held back, ask the Tutor for help and study from the resources He provides.
Do you want to stay in summer school forever?
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1Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.
2So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living.
3But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun.
4Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
5“Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin.”
6And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”
7I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun.
8This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.
9Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
10If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
11Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?
12A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
13It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who refuses all advice.
14Such a youth could rise from poverty and succeed. He might even become king, though he has been in prison.
15But then everyone rushes to the side of yet another youth who replaces him.
16Endless crowds stand around him, but then another generation grows up and rejects him, too. So it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.
“Do your best to be even-keeled as life if full of hills, valleys, and plateaus. The only thing we can be sure of is that God is in the midst of it all.”~TB
Notice the patterns in life, things are always in motion, whether you like it or not. Good things happen, followed by bad things, followed by ok things, and so on and so on. When you rely on the understanding the world tries to give, you will be as helpless and unstable as a leaf in a severe wind. If you seek peace, get to know God. It is that relationship, and that relationship alone that can help you understand the tide of your life.
Instead of fighting the tide, learn to flow with it. God will teach you how to wade in the waters of life if you let Him. This starts by relinquishing what control you believe to have in this worlds. Friends, we control nothing and even the best laid plans can crumble. This shouldn’t scare you, no, instead rejoice in the Truth that the Hand of God is in all things. All things work for Him, so don’t push or pull in your life, but rather, go with the flow.
Are you going with the flow with God?
1For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
2A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
9What do people really get for all their hard work?
10I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.
11Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
12So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.
13And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
14And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him.
15What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.
16I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt!
17I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.”
18I also thought about the human condition—how God proves to people that they are like animals.
19For people and animals share the same fate—both breathe and both must die. So people have no real advantage over the animals. How meaningless!
20Both go to the same place—they came from dust and they return to dust.
21For who can prove that the human spirit goes up and the spirit of animals goes down into the earth?
22So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is our lot in life. And no one can bring us back to see what happens after we die.