On Sunday we talked about the Hevel (smoke, vapor, non-permanence) nature of things. The Teacher in Ecclesiastes urges us to take this smoke for what it is - it’s temporary, it’s not the big deal you might think it is. Daniel Kahneman in his book /Thinking, Fast and Slow/ says it this way: “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.” When we try to give the smoke too much weight, we introduce worry and conflict into a situation and/or relationship. This often happens with both our physical neighbors and our figurative ones. When we hastily escalate an issue or problem, we “chase after the wind” instead of resting in the gift of God (which for the Teacher in Ecclesiastes is joy and thanksgiving in the present moment). As you work at loving your neighbor today, remember that the things that separate you and your neighbor are smoke. Instead of chasing down that argument that won’t satisfy, rest in the opportunity that God has given you to love and enjoy each other today, no matter what your temporary differences might be.
About the Author
Isaac Gaff is the Managing Director of Worship and Creative Arts at Calvary UMC