Are you working too hard?

Raise your hand if you have ever tried to get into a computer account without the correct password.  How many times did you try to enter the same account modifying one letter or number?  Or, better yet, using the SAME information because you were insistent there must be something wrong with the account?

Oh the frustrations of having so many passwords!

What's that saying?  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results?

It's like workaholics.  You work longer and longer hours, looking forward to that day when you will be all caught up.  But it never happens.  For all your hard work, you create more work for yourself and end up working even more!  A different definition of insanity I think.

In today's reading from Ecclesiastes (Chapter 1) in the Old Testament, we have an ancient version of this.  

It says:

Vanity of vanities,, says Qoheleth, 
vanity of vanities!  All things are vanity! 
What profit has man from all the labor
which he toils at under the sun? 
One generation passes and another comes,
but the world forever stays.

In the footnote attached to this passage, it says that vanity of vanities is a "Hebrew superlative expressing the supreme degree of futility and emptiness."

My point is, it is futile to keep over-working oneself.  I am speaking specifically about working for the purpose of acquiring more and more things when one is already quite comfortable vs working to provide for one's family.

Working to provide for your family is a worthwhile goal and does, at times, involve working more than you want to.  But that is completely different from working and working just to collect more stuff.

The vanity of doing that is futile.

So many couples suffer from over-working.  It may seem like a positive as you gain more things, but in the process, what does it do to family relationships?

When parents prefer work to spending time with their children, or when spouses use work as an escape, the underlying problem is never resolved and the result is a lot of unspoken misery.

This passage in Ecclesiastes is an important one to pay attention to because it asks a good question:

What are you seeking to gain from all your work?

I would encourage you to reflect on that and answer it honestly. Then, why not ask your loved ones how they think you are doing?

Janet Cassidy


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