I used to read Ecclesiastes as the ranting of a man in depression. Those marks are still present, but more so than that I now read a man who’s settling into the proper the balance of life. The author has worked hard, played hard, studied well, and both succeeded and failed often. It is now his time to settle into balance, a new paradigm for living.
My current paradigm exalts “stewardship.” That’s an extra spiritual way of saying “accomplish the most with as little as possible.” This tends to make me rather ambitious – raise the bar high, don’t settle for mediocrity, no excuses, do something that hasn’t been done before. The problem with my ambition is that it make me a miserable person to be around. I even make myself miserable. Sometimes I wonder why I’m working so hard, but my paradigm keeps pushing me on. I need a little balance, I need a new paradigm.
There is a number of seemingly unrelated directions that God has been simmering in my personal life.
- Be a small somebody
- My kids need a lot of time and energy now if I don’t want to look back with regret.
- Prayer, Patience, and Positivity are my greatest asset for consistent character
- I need to tolerate the shortcomings of team members
- I need to set professional boundaries, defining my role separately from others
- Enjoy life, celebrate more, laugh like I never have
Through a recent reread on Ecclesiastes, I feeling God is tying a lot of my loose learnings together into a new paradigm. I’m still in the middle of learning it, so details are a bit fuzzy, but the new paradigm is something to the effect of: enjoy your work;, enjoy your downtime; work hard enough to succeed, but not too hard; use wisdom and diligence well, but appreciate the fact that you can’t change all that much – they cycles and systems of our world that have been set in motion carry too much inertia to oppose.
I’ve got a lot of searching and rereading ahead of me, but I think I’m in the right direction. I don’t like the idea of being more nonchalant about life – do less, accomplish less, succeed less. Somehow though, I think this is where God is taking me.