Nattering · Personal

Faith and Vanity

An interesting phrasing of the beginning of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, i.e., everything is vanity.

Apart from fellowship with God and love of others, humans chase the wind and waste their lives in a cycle of futility. [V. Fizzell]

Also, in Eccl. 2:24-26:

24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. [BibleGateway, NIV]

I think that’s pretty much true. In particular, knowledge of what is right and what is wrong is important to living a life of faith. Wisdom involves knowing whether a particular “right action” is one that I am to undertake. That is, something that God has called me to do. Mostly I am called to not act. I am called only to what I can and should do. There are many people who are better suited to respond to nearly everything.

(My ego often gets in the way, and so I now more easily recognize when my responding feeds my self-esteem rather than the other’s need. It is humbling to realize how often my prayer devolves into “Forgive me for making mistakes. Please make me perfect now!” while ignoring the things that actually call for repentance and forgiveness.)

Walking in faith, for me, involves not being blown about by the winds of politicking, advertising, speakers or movements, rallying cries, &c. Rather, faith is a relationship, a daily dialogue. With me doing the preponderance of listening. I want an understanding, recognition of what I can do that is not idle vanity, but obedience, and also common sense.

There are many voices, but if God does not speak to me, affirming that what is being said is for me to follow up on, then I should not. There is no cause that will fail because I am not called to put my hand or voice to it. God calls laborers each to their particular paths. And a path may be a short one for some, while lifetime commitments for others. It’s not all about me. It’s about relationships.

And so, my calling in life is to have faith in and maintain a two-way relationship with God and to love all others. Not mine to “judge”, but also not called to condone, approve, become involved with, or such. I am not called to insert myself or my ego into other people’s lives. I’m just called to love them and to live in the joy that centers on God.


I enjoyed this prompt — Pingback to Un/Faithful | The Daily Post — and the prodding to revisit the fundamentals explicitly.

Note: Still having eyesight and coordination problems and not doing well at all in recognizing and correcting my copy.


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