Ecclesiastes 2 – What Is My Toil?

I want to follow up on my previous post about Ecclesiastes Chapter 2 verses 1 through 24.

The real lesson of Chapter 2 is wrapped up in the 24th verse which says “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil.”

I think I have discovered what King Solomon really meant by that verse.

At first I thought it meant you should have a job that you like and that brings you satisfaction in what you are doing.

Something that you find fulfilling and when you work is done you can look back and say look at what I was able to do.

Although that may be very satisfying Solomon repeatedly addressed such accomplishments as nothing but “vanity and striving after wind”.

I use to think that being part of a recording or musical product that was very exceptional and then being able to say I was part of that would be very satisfying.  I felt that if I could achieve that “success” my life would somehow feel more complete.

But after studying Ecclesiastes 2 I realize that rush of euphoria, that wave of satisfaction would soon wear off like a narcotic and I would be right back where I started, wanting more.

My vanity would be satisfied for a moment in time and then gone like the wind.

The true meaning of this chapter came upon me when I was writing.  The whole concept hit me at a gut level, a gut experience.

Recently I wrapped up getting a sketch of a song together.  I was sitting back listening to my “rough” mix and feeling pretty good about myself.

As I listen to the song over and over the errors, the areas for improvement and the areas of my own personal deficiencies began to make their way forward.

Soon the moment of euphoria faded and the stark face of reality set in.087.King_Solomon_in_Old_Age

The moment had gone.

Later as I sat down to write my previous post on Ecclesiastes 2 the whole concept rained down on my head.

The toil was the doing, the actual process of creating and how I got lost in that process.

There was no pride or shame, no good or bad, no mastery or lack of skills. It was just the moment.

It was the moment I was in and the creation that was coming out of me.

It was the enjoyment of being lost in the flow.

I always thought that Ecclesiastes 2 meant you should choose a career or vocation that makes you happy and achieve the goals in life that you have set for yourself.  Then you would be happy in your toil, your career.

But I realize if I must go to the office to be able to eat and drink and have the means to participate in my artistic endeavors then so be it.

Whether it’s writing for this blog, writing poetry, writing songs,  recording or listening to songs, the toil is the action not the results.

The results are “vanity and striving after wind”.

The enjoyment is in the act of creation.  Creating is my toil that will live with me forever.

Live for those moments to be lost in the enjoyment of your toil, for all else is “vanity and a striving after wind”.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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