Sometimes I would wake up and shake my head at the situation I had landed in. I was trapped in an apartment, on top of a mountain in Benguet with a Christian who played worship music every chance she could. Not to mention the little fact that I had given up my rights to food for a full week. I woke up one morning hungry. But Chel took the fast seriously and there was nothing in the cupboards save for some packs of pepper. I needed to do something or else I would seriously fling myself off our balcony.
My eyes landed on the purple cover of my bible.
Okay. Here goes. I’ve heard plenty of stories of Christian friends who’ve had the bible speak to them supposedly.
“It’s the word of God.” they said. “He will speak to you through its pages”.
Er, so how does that happen? What do I do?
I remember them saying to just randomly open to a page and the first passage you read would be God’s message to you.
I was highly doubtful.
At that moment, my thoughts about God was respectful at best. I knew there was a God but to tell the truth, I didn’t think it mattered much. My thoughts about the whole God thing could be pretty much summed up as:
You are all the way out there and I am all the way down here and You must be far too busy for sure so just let me go about living my life, and You can go about with Yours. Don’t worry about me, I’m cool. I can handle myself. Really, I don’t need a relationship with You, but thank you anyways. Bye-bye.
But okay. I was starving and there was nothing left to eat and nothing else to do. I’ll give it a try. What have I got to lose.
So I leafed through the bible, stuck my hand somewhere in the middle and closed my eyes. God, if You’re there, and if you are listening, speak to me. Then I opened the bible.
My eyes fell to the book of Ecclesiastes.
I felt faint.
Everything is Meaningless
1 The words of the Teacher, a son of David, king in Jerusalem:
2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher
Everything is meaningless.”
You cannot imagine the shock I felt reading the first few lines.
First of all, I was a teacher and second of all, everything that he was saying?
It was exactly what I was feeling.
3 What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
The emptiness of life, the going around in circles, the predictability, the bleakness, the tiredness of it all…those were my thoughts.
The bible revealed exactly what was in my heart. Furthermore, I was not even aware that it was what I was feeling but for some crazy reason the bible just knew me.
It was almost as if it knew the very depths of my soul.
The teacher believed in God but he was questioning whether or not God matters. By examining life on earth with its burdensome experiences and empty patterns, he comes to the conclusion that without eternity, without God, earthly life with its sad cycles and endless, pointless toiling is completely, utterly and painfully meaningless.
Without the good news, life is straight up depressing.
That did it. That was no mere coincidence.
I would have laughed out loud if I wasn’t so stunned..
God wasn’t too busy after all. Better yet, He was listening.
There was so much I wanted to know.
For the remainder of the fast, I started filling myself up with the Word of God
And I no longer found myself hungry for food.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”