Ecclesiastes 5:1-71 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. 2 Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. 3 As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. 6Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the [temple] messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
Reverence. Awe. Honor
These are concepts that I struggle to comprehend, but the older I get them more I'm drawn to them. I want to "stand in awe of God". I want to guard my steps in His presence and lessen my words as I utter my thoughts to His heart. I don't want to treat God like my "Homeboy" or my "Buddy" or "The Big Guy upstairs". I'm not interested in bringing him down to my level and being non-chalant with him.
But let me clarify. I don't want to be scared of him or to pray like a machine to a machine in the sky either. I want to honor his presence is all I'm saying. No need for crouching down and groveling like a peasant before a King. I'm his child and His palace is my home. And yet there is a certain gravity to my relationship with God that demands reverence. Deep, abiding respect that is only his just due. He is God...I am not.
The part of this verse that stands out to me is the dreaming part. Specifically how many cares lead to many dreams. I feel as though there are days that I bear the weight of the world on my shoulders and as I contemplate the reason for this, I am left to wonder if I don't see myself as a sort of god. When I don't understand who is really God in my life, I am left to carry the cares myself. I say this to my shame and I don't think I knowingly assume this god-like posture, but this verse makes me wonder if there isn't clear enough distinction between God and myself. What is his and what is mine. What he does and what I do. I have been having tons of dreams lately, many of which are borne out a tightness of chest and the pressures of life. These dreams are a mixture of fact and fiction and I wake with a certain darkness hovering over me. The darkness of dread and fear and anxiety.
It's easy to try to sate these fears with words. To try to over-compensate with being faster...instead of guarding my steps. Saying more...instead of letting my words be few. Dreaming more instead of simply living. This is meaningless largely because it's hollow. Life is wordy and busy and dreamy, but it's not centered and anchored. I can't feel the shallowness of it...like a sailboat without a keel or sail. I'm going nowhere or sideways depending on the wind, but I'm not catching the gusts of God, that's for sure. This is wearisome as the author says over and over again. A greyhound chasing a mechanical rabbit.
I long for a reverence of God that puts me in my proper place. I say that without the least bit of pity. I truly want him to be distinguish from me in a league all his own, a personality that is completely other as the Holy God of the Universe. I want to stand square and small in my rightful place relaxed under his Sovereign wings. I don't want to carry myself as if I'm like Him and He's like me. It's easy to reduce him to that place, but I want to posture myself correctly in our relationship. I want to love him as he deserves and dare I say, demands. Only then will I rest my weary bones and tame my wild tongue.
I love Him very much.