On reverence, humility, and contentment: “With many dreams come vanities and a multitude of words; but fear God.” ~Ecclesiastes 5:7 (NRSV).
We would not be human if we didn’t dream. God intentionally puts a fire in our hearts, a notion of logic in our minds, and a thread of capacity inside us to work it all out. Dreams are one of the greatest things about life.
But dreams fall short in many obvious ways. We lose our perspective as we blow the effect of the dream well out of proportion—obsessing over it.
How do we balance our dreams? Qoheleth, the teacher, the writer of Ecclesiastes, puts it in simple, cogent terms. We must “fear God.”
The Fear of the Lord
Fearing God is about balance; it’s about truth, and it’s also about wisdom. As Jesus says, “For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?” (Matthew 16:26a).
Dreams are important, but balance equally so.
Fearing God is about respecting life in the midst of our dreams.
An appropriate balance to life is one where we allow our hearts to rise into the clouds—innovating upon the vision of our dreams—yet our thinking is sprinkled with logic and reason, establishing that balance that proves we “fear God.” That is, we simply take life seriously enough to understand its depth.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.