“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”
‘Am busy’ or ‘I don’t have time’ has become a cliché these days and majority of the time it’s rightly so or at the least feels so. Because, this devotional’s writer too perceived that way and so wrote this at the last hour.
The Preacher in Ecclesiastes, taken aback by man’s never-ending business, laments and pours out his indictment at its unending cycle and meaninglessness. The Preacher though the wisest the world has ever known, is lost for a reason behind all the activities of the Human world.
We’ll see 3 prominent personalities of the Bible, who felt they were doing menial jobs but only until God turned it around:
1) God made Moses to be brought up as the one of the Princes of Egypt, but still couldn’t use him when Moses relied on his position, power and authority. Moses had to shun the pleasures of Egypt to be identified with the Jews, but still wasn’t pushed to the forefront by God immediately. After 40 years of shepherding in the desert; battered by the winds of time; losing his Egyptian grandeur, might and bravery, Moses was finally ready to be used by God. And now God saw Moses as the meekest of all mankind (Refer Numbers 12:3), an analogy to a lamb which John compared Jesus to (Refer John 1:29), and we see Jesus Himself saying He is meek (Refer Matthew 11:29 KJV). God was working in Moses, so that he would resemble Him first and then would lead His people out of Egypt’s slavery like how Jesus delivered us from being slave to Sin. Moses was a Prince turned shepherd, and later both the traits were necessary to lead the people of Israel and fight their way into Canaan.
2) David was so, an ordinary shepherd when God sent Samuel the Prophet to anoint him (Refer 1 Samuel 16:12-13). But David was not made a king overnight, he was sent back to shepherd the flocks and the hazards he faced part of his work, transformed him into a rightful candidate to defeat Goliath and then to lead and feed the nation of Israel.
3) Peter and his brother Andrew were ordinary fisher-men along the shores of ‘Sea of Galilee’ minding their own business. But when Jesus came into the scene, they were called by Him to be made “Fishers of Men” for the expansion of God’s kingdom (Refer Matthew 4:18-19).
Even so Jesus chose to be a Carpenter initially, that he would be daily reminded of His impending cross whenever He worked on a tree wood. Every work we do has meaning only when we do it for God, with God and of God. “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever” (Ecclesiastes 3:14). Anything else as the Preacher says is all vanity.
Feel inadequate to take up God ordained tasks? – Take heart, for “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27). God made Samson to even use the jaw-bone of a dead donkey to kill a thousand men (Refer Judges 15:16)
But in all this, we should practice caution that we shouldn’t be doing anything for the Lord at the expense of the Lord. The following reply that Jesus gave to Martha when she complained to Him, presuming she was helping Jesus by serving, signifies what exactly we must pursue in this world amidst it’s daily duties and distractions.
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42).
Martha in all her duties for the Lord, was missing the “Good Portion” which is the Lord Himself. Yes, it’s true what Martha did was necessary and note-worthy, but Jesus’ intention was that anything done at the expense of Him does not bear fruit and only lead to worries That is why Jesus addressed Himself as the True Vine and we as the branches could do nothing apart from Him (Refer John15:5).
Wherever you are called to, stay true and whatever you do, do it for the Lord, with the Lord and of the Lord. And in His time, our Lord would change the ‘menial into millennial’.