Friday, June 11, 2010
Readings from the Book of Eeyore
Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but of all the characters in literature, Milne's Eeyore is on my Top Ten list of favorites. Maybe it's because I know some Eeyores in real life or maybe it's because I have a small bit of Eeyore in me. Or maybe it's because of amazing lines like these:
"'It's snowing still,' said Eeyore gloomily.
'So it is.'
'Yes,' said Eeyore. 'However,' he said, brightening up a little, 'We haven't had an earthquake lately.'"
"It's bad enough being miserable, but it is even worse when everyone else claims to be miserable, too."
Don't you just want to pat his head, give him a side hug, and say, "Oh Eeyore. How I love you"?
Eeyore always makes me laugh, but I also appreciate him for his nuggets of truth. Within his sad stale chocolate box of poor me's and life is useless that's all there is to it, there are yummy pieces of wisdom. Tasty bits that leave me chewing and thinking. For instance...
"We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."
"A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference. Or so they say."
"When trying to rescue friends from a tree, make sure the plan doesn't involve having everybody stand on your back."
Hahahahahahaha. Okay, so that one is just funny.
A week or so ago, I reread the book Ecclesiastes, and I was shocked to find that Eeyore has a long lost Biblical brother!
Seriously, you should read it again. It's short (in my Bible it's only ten pages long,) and the Eeyorisms and nuggets of truth will stun you and make you laugh out loud and yearn to tousle the Philosopher's hair, give him a sideways hug, and say, "How I love you, you tired old wise man, you."
Check out lines like this:
"Life is useless, all useless. You spend your life working, laboring, and what do you have to show for it?...What has happened before will happen again..There is nothing new in the whole world. "Look," they say, "here is something new" but no, it has all happened before, long before we were born."
"Never ask "Oh, why were things so much better in the old days?" It is not an intelligent question."
"If you dig a pit, you fall in it; if you break through a way, a snake bites you. ...If your ax is dull and you don't sharpen it, you have to work harder to use it. It is smarter to plan ahead."
"So remember your Creator while you are still young, before those dismal days and years come when you will say, "I don't enjoy life. That is when the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars will grow dim for you, and the rain clouds will never pass away. ...Your teeth will be too few to chew your food and your eyes too dim to see clearly... You will hardly be able to drag yourself along, and all desire will be gone."
I can hardly wait!
But just as with Eeyore, there are stunning truths within the dreariness.
The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die...
And another favorite set of verses:
"Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up..."
Yep, a life lived outside of faith, focused only on ourselves maybe ultimately useless, but let God enter the picture and everything changes. Maybe the Philosopher of Ecclesiastes is even preparing us for the coming of Christ, the One who "came that we might have life abundantly."
So tell me, what do you think of the Philosopher Eeyore and the Philosopher of Ecclesiastes?
Before you skedaddle, I'll leave you with this benediction:
"Go ahead--eat your food and be happy; drink your wine and be cheerful. It's all right with God. Always look happy and cheerful. Enjoy life with the woman you love, as long as you live the useless life that God has given you in this world. Enjoy every useless day of it, because that is all you will get for all your trouble. Work hard at whatever you do, because there will be no action, no thought, no knowledge, no wisdom in the world of the dead--and that is where you are going."
Oh, come here, Philosopher, and let me tousle your hair, you sweet thing.
Have a great weekend, y'all!