A confession right off the bat: I’m in a reading slump these days.
This isn’t the first time, of course. There are really moments in life where there’s just really no time for reading, and your pace from one book to another can be really, really slow. Time drags, pages seem to go on forever, book piles grow from manageable to mind-blowing monstrous as days go by. It happens, and I hate it whenever moments like these come—especially when I’ve got so many great books awaiting me, calling my name and begging to be experienced. Ugh, I just hate it more than words can say.
It’s really not about the books. I’ve had books that made me yawn but I can still finish them within just a day or two, so the content is definitely not my main gauge of interest. Rather, I blame my mood swings and my physical limitations. See, work has been pretty demanding and more stressful than usual these days for some reason. I don’t know if it’s got to do with the year coming to a close, but I certainly have this inexplicable feeling that people (and companies) are rushing all over the place to get things done and over with as soon as possible, almost like they could not bear the suspense of the holidays and just wants for everything to end and get the new year started, thank you very much.
Maybe that’s why I am feeling so left behind and worn out—it’s like I have exhausted every bit of energy I have just to keep up with things and then finding out that I’m still basically where I started. What can I say, I really am not a big fan of being too adult, I guess. I can be complicated but I actually wanted things to be really simple—I just wanted to have enough time for reading. But alas, no: Real life gets in the way too much. And this, my friends, is the drama of my existence.
The Bible understands me and these moments in my life. Most of us feel hostility towards the Bible because of its potential to intimidate. For many who haven’t had the time to read it, it’s nothing more than a big manual of do’s and don’ts—a dull book of laws and punishments. But for those who have labored to read through verse after verse, it is so much more: there is sympathy in the wisdom of its words and teachings that will comfort you at your weakest moments.
Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the Bible ever because of its cynicism. I know, right? It’s pretty much a collection of rants and a series of ‘life is meaningless’ outbursts. Solomon, the wisest man who ever walked the earth, is the writer of this book, and don’t you just find it so cool that the Bible’s dorkiest guy got to write twelve chapters worth of pure, utter pessimism? I know it’s hardly a fact to make your day or to lift up your spirits, but I just find that so…empowering. I mean, if this man who almost knew everything also had his share of tiresome and dreary days, then that totally makes my misery normal, right?
My line of thinking might probably be twisted from your point of view, but whatever. I think what I just really want to say is that, in as much as the Bible encourages everyone to soldier on through test and trials, it also recognizes the fact that there will always be days like these—long, dry, futile days of exhaustion and nothingness. It tells us that there is always a time for everything, and that there is a time for rest, a season for standing still. God’s words are always grounded in an unshakable equilibrium of time. And the best thing about it? His words are also beautiful promises of days ahead and days to come. These promises do not only give us assurance that we always have God’s arms where we can find rest whenever we need it, more than anything else, it guarantees that after every moment of weariness, we can always move forward and catch up—for we can always do all things through Christ who gives us strength.