I think sometimes we are too hard on King Solomon. True, he was rich, was probably spoiled, but was also very human, meaning that he too, had those days.
You know, where his gold rimmed chariot developed a funny rattle and his two hundred talent sandals tore a strap and where the chef served roast fowl when he had specifically ordered fried.
We have those days where we could write our own Ecclesiastes. And so I wonder about him. Was he really as dour and negative as his only biblical book suggests? Or was he uncannily wise with some hunch about the future? He kind of reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ PuddleGlum who would go out of his way to find something negative to say about everything. PuddleGlum is a favorite character of mine, not because I admire negativity, but because I like the pluck and enthusiasm with which he carried out these ridiculous quests. He was enthusiastically negative, which I find compelling in the literary sense.
And I kind of have to wonder if Solomon could foresee the Pinterest of 2013. Would have that impressed him at all? Remember, he says, “there is no new thing under the sun.” And so I wonder what he would think of this:
It’s a used dryer sheet wreath, in case you can’t tell. I pinned it onto my “create” board on pinterest. You basically tie a couple hundred used dryer sheets onto a bent wire hanger that is shaped in a circle.
Try not to be too impressed.
And all the other useful, resourceful things out there that are being showcased.
But he was sort of right.
I get all excited about a neat idea or recipe or tip and go show my mom or tell my grandma and they just nonchalantly say, “Oh, I’ve been doing that for years.” And then I feel small and all 2013ish again.
It’s interesting watching life cycles. Ten years ago home decor’ was all about cow themed kitchens and everything matching just perfectly. Now it’s all vintage and eclectic and DIY.
Blogs are abuzz with chevron everything and ruffles and shades of grays and yellows and appliqued mustaches on little boys onesies and healthy eating and trim and healthy mama. And it feels so modern. But then those cow themed kitchens did at the time too.
Which just goes to show that these things really don’t matter. In 50 years, these babies are going to look back at instagram pictures of themselves lying naked in a brown bowl with a crocheted hat and are going to roll their eyes and say, “that was so 2013.”
I always get amused at old tattered books that boast titles such as “Modern Medicine”. Each generation’s besetting problem is their idea that they have it together, they have attained and silly ‘ole previous generation.
So I think Solomon had it right. Things come and go. In the light of eternity, they really don’t matter, and even narrowing it down, in 50 years they won’t matter. Which proves his subsequent point; that there is no lasting meaning in them and those who place all their energy into them at the expense of what’s truly important will live very empty lives.
So I’m thinking he was sort of wise, even though at that point he didn’t know that you could clean your headlights using toothpaste.