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Walls

claustrophobia2

“So I  hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after the wind.” Ecc 2:17 (ESV)

The general fear of someone who is claustrophobic is that of being restricted, confined, or trapped.

While not everyone goes into a panic attack while  in an elevator or locked rooms, most get very uncomfortable when there is no way out of an elevator or room.

Most get uncomfortable when they have no way out of a place…

when they have no way to change a circumstance…

when they have no control of an outcome…

when walls go up around one’s life.

The author of Ecclesiastes can relate.  For as he begins to survey the system of the world…

its routines…

its axioms…

its contradictions…

its lack of reliability…

he becomes uneasy.  In fact, as he reflects on life, he remembers a time when these thoughts led him to hate life and despair over all his actions.

Ecclesiastes is a book that builds walls.  For it has the reader confront the reality of limits.

And this reality is one which ultimately restricts and confines you.  A reality that traps you.

With no hope of changing.  No hope of escaping.  No hope of reasoning away.

“You see,” says the Author, “as I tried to make sense of the world…”

“a man cannot utter it.”

Ecc 1:8 (ESV)

As much intuition and intelligence that man has been given, we cannot make complete sense of everything.

The Nihilist may then resign the task and  say, “Yes! So screw it all! Since we cannot know everything, we can then truly know nothing! Everything IS meaningless!”

Besides being a meaningless thing to say,  the true problem with this is that we as sentient beings have been given an inner a priori yearning to make sense of life.

“Also he put eternity into man’s heart,

yet so that he cannot find out what God has done

from the beginning to the end.
Ecc 3:11 (ESV)

Consider all the books, articles, movies, commercials, debates, through the ages and you’ll agree that man’s search for meaning is as fundamental as the blood in our veins.

Yet Ecclesiastes says that we posses a limited understanding…

we reach a limit within our abilities…

we can only get so far…

before we have to admit…

“What is crooked cannot be made straight.

What is lacking cannot be counted.”

Ecc 1:15 (ESV)

Is it possible that the ultimate source of man’s rebellion against God, who made the system (cf. Ecc 7:13), is due to the fear of being bolted down…

locked in…

restricted…

controlled?

In our souls, claustrophobes?

Hating instruction.  Hating limitations.  Hating obedience.  Hating prescriptions.  Hating subordination.  Hating dependency.

Ecclesiastes for most of us may turn out to be a house of mourning because it will reestablish the wall of a system that you despise.

That God has established a system which confronts all mankind…

a system which reminds us that we are the created, not the Creator…

a system which reorients your priorities…

a system which defeats your arrogance and strength…

a system which blasphemes your autonomy…

a system so out of your control.

Yet,

“The heart of the wise is in the house of the mourning.”

Ecc 7:4

Walled within this house of mourning.

Phobic of what I am before it.

Walled within this system.

Phobic of Who began it.

When all of man’s talk of things ring out to the heavens,

millions of voices over time crying, screaming, asking, debating, pontificating,

millions of voices coalesce into a massive groan within these walls,

“Why! Why this way!”

To which the Creator of walls replies,

“But who are you,

O man,

to answer back to God?”
Romans 9:20

Good question.

Who are you within these walls?