and the day of one's death than the day of one's birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
since that is the end of all mankind,
and the living should take it to heart.
So, says Solomon, pack up your gaiety and laughter and head off to a funeral. I tell people I just love to play the piano for funerals. I guess that's because every funeral I attend is instructive to my soul. I get a front row seat to review a person's life. I am always blessed by these quiet moments when I may or may not be sad. It is good for me to be in a house of mourning because I get to consider if my life is amounting to anything. What will they say when I'm laying in a box (hopefully it won't be - better to let my body be used for something other than fertilizer)? I have been to some very interesting funerals. I'll have to share some of the stories here sometime.
Grief is better than laughter,
for when a face is sad, a heart may be glad.
THANK YOU Solomon! Next time someone questions my lack of overt smiley-ness I will have to quote this verse. In fact, why isn't this on those cutesy t-shirts people wear. I think it would be fitting. Along with a big yellow smiley face on the back that says, 'And have a nice day.'
The heart of the wise is in a house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in a house of pleasure.
Anyone out there seeking to be wise? Well the above gives you a clue. Keep your heart fully engaged with the reality of the brevity of your life. If you want to squander life away milking the pleasures afforded on this earth, go ahead, be my guest. But don't say I didn't warn you. Or, Solomon, I mean.
It is better to listen to rebuke from a wise person
than to listen to the song of fools.
For like the crackling of [burning] thorns under the pot,
so is the laughter of the fool.
This too is futile.
Solomon doesn't mince his words. He tells it like it is. I aspire to be just a bit like him. Just when I pray for wisdom I pray I have the strength of will to apply what God teaches me, unlike Solomon. He was pretty sharp to ask for wisdom, but he failed to apply much of it - building his harem like there was no tomorrow and letting his women lead him astray. Tsk Tsk - should've known better. This shows me that being wise is less to be desired than living rightly and pleasing God in all things. And wisdom is as wisdom does. It isn't enough to know and ponder. I need to do the things I know. And therein lies my achilles heel. In the doing - that is where I fail.
I'll end these ramblings here.