Thoughts on Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs, Day 22, Lent 2013

Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs are the last two books in the poetic section of the Old Testament. Compared to all the other huge gobs of Bible reading I'm doing in the mega-Lenten-reading-plan, these two were a dainty morsel. I did a series on the Song of Songs back in 2008. In this series though, I'm taking a cloud view, instead of every blade of grass view from back then. I'm going all "meta" now. In the big picture, I really like the placement of these two books next to each other. Ecclesiastes is a downer. It asks, what's the purpose of our lives? Why bother trying? Don't the lazy scoundrel and the brilliant leader end up in the same place, the grave? I think he gets somewhat Zen in the end, suggesting it's best to be in the present. Enjoy right now, and Zen would say the "enjoy" part is still a problem. The writer, who has lived successfully and hedonistically, says that the desire for wealth is never quenched. As Carnegie said, there's still one more dollar out there. Like Jagger sings, so the poet says, "I can't get no satisfaction."  So if you have huge aspirations, realize, says the poet, that you are giving years of your life towards something that will benefit others, who won't appreciate all you did, who won't remember your hopes and dreams for that project, and will likely forget your name. But if you can live in the moment, enjoy the little you have now, family, friends, some booze and food, you have found a good place. As Jagger sang, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you find, you get what you need."

Who knew that Mick Jagger was a prophet of God?
The Very Best of Mick Jagger
The Very Best of Mick Jagger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost in response to Ecclesiastes, comes Song of Songs, which focuses on the passionate love of a couple. They exemplify living in the now, enjoying every moment of it. Their passion and love are aligned. David and Solomon were in positions of power that enabled them to have whoever their passions and lusts pointed toward. The Ecclesiastic poet said that was a dead end. The Song of Songs poet shines a spotlight on power of a united focus of love and passion. It's what happens when you cross the anti-ghost streams in Ghostbusters.

Another musician sang, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." If you give that line the benefit of the doubt, as I am, I think that prophet is saying the same thing. Align your passion with your commitment and find satisfaction.
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