The guy sitting opposite me in the uni library looks exactly how I feel. Laptop out, half finished bottle of Coke, head on the desk and arms sprawled out in defeat. It’s week 13 – the final week of my second last semester at uni, and my brain is chanting ‘today is meaningful, today is meaningful, today is meaningful…’, over and over again, all the while waging a battle against Facebook and WordPress to avoid doing my assignment. Yep, I failed.
Today reminds me of the start of Ecclesiastes. If you haven’t read this book, allow me to enlighten you with the opening few lines: “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” Chapter 12 verse 12 also rings true at the moment, stating that, “of making books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” Yep, you got that right Solomon.
Besides Ecclesiastes being about the apparent meaninglessness of life, and seeming a little bit ‘absurdist‘ (if you want to get technical), the thing that makes me love it so much is the note of hope that it ends on, entrusting life and all of its apparent meaninglessness to God. It ends saying, “now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all man kind. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” From my knowledge of essays (which is what I should be doing now) that’s a pretty strong conclusion. Yeah, life seems meaningless. Writing an essay seems pointless and right now I feel super unproductive – but it’s encouraging to know that there’s a purpose for being here, and a purpose for working hard at what we do, no matter what it is as long as our intentions are noble.
So with that, I’m going back to my essay… and I’m going to try and make today that little bit more meaningful, just because it is.
— Lauren x