When I woke up this morning I realized that I was singing a melody in my mind and I wasn’t sure, for a few minutes, what the words were. When I was able to wake enough to focus on it, I remembered the words: “Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase!”
I smiled, then wondered why on earth I was singing that particular phrase, when I remembered that the lawyer we hired shortly after our middle son passed away was in my dreams. He showed up (in my dream) at a 4th of July celebration with my in-laws, of all things!
If you’re puzzled by the connection I seem to be making, don’t feel bad. I was puzzled for a few minutes, as well. Then I remembered that he (the lawyer) would tell me “no worries” when I would express my worries to him, which must’ve been rather frequently, since that is one of the things I clearly remember about him. And I think he grew tired of saying that to me because once he emailed me “Hakuna Matata” instead of saying “no worries”!
*As an aside, and just because I do love words, their origins and meanings: Hakuna Matata roughly translates to “there are no troubles” in Swahilli.*
So I’ve been singing this cute little song in my head this morning, and as I reached for my Bible and opened it, thinking I’d just read from wherever it fell open to, I was taken aback by the book I saw open before me.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!”
“What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?”
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
I read the first couple of chapters, thinking in my heart that this is exactly how my husband and I have been feeling for quite some time.
All is meaningless.
Now of course, this is not the only scripture in the Bible. There are many, many scripture verses, and very few, that I can think of, are this despondent and depressing in regards to a life perspective.
But there is truth in this passage.
“All is meaningless”; and it is probably because “there is nothing new under the sun”.
I’ve come to an age and am at a time in my life where I wonder about and question “all” of this.
Is there anything that is not meaningless? And I know there is nothing new under the sun, though it feels “new” to me.
A little over 5 years ago, we lost one of the most precious blessings in our lives – one of our children. I know people die every day; every few seconds, in fact. And I have lost loved ones, both friends and family. But until 5 years ago, I had never lost a child. The unfathomable depth of this pain was, and still is at times, new to me.
A couple of years after our son passed away, our youngest child moved out of our home. I had given a little thought to “empty nest syndrome”, but hadn’t really considered the impact it would have on a couple whose main goal in life was to have a family and build a house in the country to raise that family in. We accomplished the goals of having a family and building a house fairly early on in our lives – before I was 40 years old. And though we had almost 35 years of raising and home-schooling our 5 children, I was still unprepared for the loss I’d feel, and still feel, when the youngest flew the coop. This empty-nest stuff is new to me.
Besides my precious husband, my parents were probably my greatest support in those first couple of years after our son tragically passed away in a car accident. They had just turned 80 years old at the time, and were beginning to deal with that “long good-bye” called Alzheimer’s disease in my dad. I was aware he was having issues, but they seemed to be dealing with them quite proficiently. And they were always ready and willing to lay aside whatever they were personally dealing with to listen to, comfort and encourage me when I came through their door, needing them. According to Google, there are 50 million people in the world living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. But my dad having dementia is new to me.
Any one of these life-altering events or stages of life would be enough to cause anyone to pull up short and need to take a breather. And I don’t say this so I can get sympathy, or pity, or anything else. I say it because writing it here helps me process these things. I have been in a funk for such a long time, wondering what in the world is “wrong” with me. Well, I’ve decided NOTHING is wrong with me. I’m having a difficult time dealing with life because life has been difficult for a very long time, now.
Death of a child.
Going from raising and home-schooling 5 rambunctious children over a period of ……….. most of my adult life, to being alone in a very quiet house most days.
I’ve gone from living with very healthy and active parents in my life, to needing to help them with meals, transportation, and decisions. Then having to place them in a nursing facility recently, as their care demanded more than they, my siblings or I could provide.
But “there is nothing new under the sun”.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again.”
It’s all “nothing new”.
But it’s new to me.
“What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That every man may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it, so men will revere Him.
Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.” Ecclesiastes 3:9-15
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14