One day. I went to the Chinese Consulate at 7:00 am and lined myself up to get my priority number. The guard allowed us to enter the visa application room at 08:00 am but they will start receiving the application at 09:00. I held “60” as my number and right at 11:30am, the number which was called was 38. Tired of waiting, I went out of that office and took a walk around the villa to kill the time and escape from sitting and leaning to their cold-to-the-bone steel chairs. I decided to stay outside and find myself a cozy place right at the side of the door. I had enough space to lean my back, enough shade to hide my eyes from the rays and enough sun to keep me warm in that cold, sunny morning. It’s exactly a nice spot to write something. Around were the chirping birds and the rest was silence. The winds do come and go, I could see my hair sways to its movement while I’m writing and taking advantage of the time and the silence.
I watched the movement of people and noticed that most of them were on their mobile. Technology has gone so far! It has bridged the distance and has made things easier and faster. Everyone is so busy with life, hardly get the rest that they needed and I myself is held guilty beyond act. The world seemed to be defined as “work” nowadays for people who are in the corporate world. Technology makes the distance reachable but has separated people way way far. Businessmen are enjoying the privileged of doing things easier than the usual, but still being pushed to the same motivation for the money. No one gets enough, satisfaction is not guaranteed. Many are carried by the current and the fast pace of life and I myself is not an exception.
These things make me ponder on the questions of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:1-11:
” What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north; round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come will not be remembered
I have nothing against work, all of us need it, but most of us are not working as normal people would, regardless if we want it that way or not. Instead, we work excessively and that’s TOIL. What is then the purpose of working so much? It makes sense when he says, all streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. No matter what we do, work will not be finished. Things just flow in a repetitive cycle that continually presses us while things are in motion. If we look up, the world is so big from where we are standing, but we will feel it so small with the bits of things around and eventually, we won’t have enough space for ourselves. We are so pre-occupied with work until one day, we will find ourselves burned out and exhausted that even on easy things, our mind will refuse to accept, memory full. In worst cases, our mind will no longer serve us right and its outcome will definitely add up another issue that again, we needed to resolve.
There are a few times when I can’t understand business owners. It seems as though the definition of their life can only be justified by working so hard and yet at the end of the day, they still are not contented with the amount of business that they poured out for their company. The same hunger will awaken them in the next day.
In Chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes, it says that it’s a chasing after the wind, all their days they work in grief and pain, even at night, their minds do not rest. Toil has given us wrong reasons for the wrong purpose. In the end, that has made the works of hands meaningless. Work is a cycle that is made to last, not unless you will make a bold decision to step out of it. Remember the famous line that says “an airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” At the brink of a decision to shift, its true that its not easy, but as long as you are assured that God has your back, you can leap without worrying. Surely, the Lord our God will catch you. You can do things against the usual for that has given you peace within.
Take this time to pray for the person that is in your mind right now. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer and the might of the One who will answer your prayer.
“The sleep of the laborer is sweet, whether they eat a little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.” Ecclesiastes 4:12