Today’s Chocolate: Green & Black’s Organic Milk Chocolate with Almonds
Today’s Passage: Ecclesiastes 10:3
This is a momentous occasion, fam. No, not Valentine’s Day: today we are breaking new ground. For the first time on Chocolate Book, we are cracking open the book of Ecclesiastes.
Hats off to God’s Little Instruction Book for actually including verses from Ecclesiastes. It actually includes a number of selections from the book of the self-described Preacher’s existential pontifications. That said, I’d be impressed if God’s Little Instruction Book included “Behold, all is futility and striving after wind” (1:14) or “In much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain” (1:18). I’d certainly like to see the inspirational sayings for those verses. But no: today’s verse is Ecclesiastes 10:3: “Even when the fool walks along the road his sense is lacking, and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool.”
An important part of the wisdom literature tradition to which Ecclesiastes belongs is dunkin’ on fools. Numerous psalms and proverbs paint us a picture of the fool and warn readers not to indulge in his idiocy. Here, the fool puts his folly on full view whenever he goes out: in its most literal translation, the verse actually reads “He says to everyone that he is a fool.” Actions speak, and the way the fool goes about his business articulates his foolishness as perfectly as any words. I can’t help imagining him walking down the road and singing in his best falsetto, “You can tell by the way I use my walk / I’m a foolish man, no time to talk.”
But even as I take jabs at the foolish by way of the Bee Gees, I myself can’t help feeling convicted by the text. Because you know what’s one mark of a foolish walk? Hurry. Proverbs 19:2, “He who hurries his footsteps errs,” is just one of many verses that warns of the dangers of haste. And I feel like I’m running through my days at work, never taking time for actual human beings, just rushing through each mechanical task and automating my social interactions for maximum efficiency. I need to slow down and listen to people. I’m missing out on what’s most profitable: not earning dollars, but connecting and paying attention to life.
“God’s Little Deconstruction Book” indeed. I can’t even remember the last time I got to eat my own lunch.