We are not good people, and we want to believe that we are good people more badly than we want to be good people.
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.
Last chapter, Jesus drew the ire of the Pharisees. Between refusing to authenticate his healings and exorcisms with a “sign,” not ceremonially washing before meals (even as a guest in a Pharisee’s house), and openly criticizing their showy religious posturing, he’s earned himself a spot on their poop list. So of course he opens up his teachings in Luke 12 with further jabs at the Pharisees.
Do you ever worry about running out of things? Full disclosure: I do. But not things like money or food. I worry about running out of things to do or learn. I’ll drag out a task just to delay that moment when I complete it and have to ask, “What do I do next?” The possibility that time does not exist in heaven still unnerves me, as if the world had finally run out of events–or the prospect of a heaven that’s just endless repetition of the same activities, as if God had run out of new and interesting things to have happen. And historically, I have worried that maybe there was nothing to begin with. I worry that maybe I’ll come to the end of my life and discover that not only have I run out of me, but moreover there was no me to begin with, that there wasn’t anything, that God is nonbeing and heaven is union with him in illusory existence’s own self-annihilation. I fear running out of reality.
Asaph’s got inpsalmnia. He’s restless and troubled and can’t find any comfort, to the point where it’s affecting his sleep. “You have held my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak” (4), he says to God. Ever have a night like that? Ever ask God why he won’t just knock you out, give you a few hours’ reprieve from the troubles running through your brain?