2015 ArticlesLooking Out My Window

Looking Out My Window – What Keeps You Busy?

Looking out my window today I’m pondering the whole idea of seasons and celebrations colliding. We just came through Thanksgiving celebrations from a couple weeks ago. We had friends visiting from Rochester, New York and they certainly enjoyed sharing our turkey dinner with us. This week in the Jeffrey household we celebrated two birthdays. My wife celebrated a birthday this week as did her grandfather who turned 99! (I won’t say how old my wife is because I’m told it’s never nice to reveal a woman’s age). On Friday, October 23rd we celebrate the third anniversary of the radio station with an event for UCB Canada 90.7FM complete with great desserts and a silent auction at the Cobourg Lions Community Centre starting at 7:00pm.

When it comes to seasons we are now pretty much full blown into fall. Leaves are changing and I’m hoping I’ve cut the grass at our home for the last time. I must admit there was a time when I took the changing seasons for granted. Many times I wished I lived in a warmer climate where I didn’t have to worry about winter. But then after spending three years in Wilmore, Kentucky I changed my mind about four seasons in the year. While the weather was warmer in Kentucky there were pretty much only two seasons – hot and mud. When it wasn’t hot during what we call fall and spring here, it was wet and muddy in Kentucky.

Seasons come and seasons go. Soon lawn mowers will be safely stored away for the winter while snow blowers, shovels and salt will become the front porch norm. It is true, there is a time for everything. The author of Ecclesiastes echoes the same thought when he declares “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens”. Then after going through a litany of activities Solomon declares, “What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:9-11).

The Message translation of those verses reads, “But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do – busywork mostly”.

How much of what we do in life is really “busywork”? We might call it vision or passion, but in the end, where does it lead? In the book of Proverbs Solomon writes “A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). Another translation says “envy rots the bones”. Could it be this is a warning about what we focus on? Do we sometimes become obsessed with busywork simply because we’re envious of someone else which leads to a passionate pursuit of what takes our eyes off of what’s really important in life?

Solomon feels God gives us busywork. But to what end? Does the busywork translate into a sense of peace, purpose and destiny? Probably not. The Amplified Version of the Bible translates Ecclesiastes 3:11 this way; “God also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun by God alone can satisfy]”. It’s true – God does have a plan and a purpose for our lives. Many times it’s the busywork we create in our lives which move us off of His plan and purpose for our life. Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels as the seasons fly by? Maybe today would be a good day to take stock of the busywork in your life and let a few things go.

Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.

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