“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:2
We live in a day and age in which the old fashioned values of our parents, grandparents and greatgrand parents have almost ceased to exist. If you just look at the news or social media outlets you can ascertain what we now value as a world culture. Everything is designed to escape the hardships in life. Beauty to escape aging, vacation to escape work, movies to escape boredom. Previous generations didn’t consider aging, hard work nor boredom things to be dreaded. They were considered stages and aspects of life to be experienced. In fact, if you spend the majority of your time pursuing the former it would have been considered superficial, jovial or immature. I guess that’s what the newer generations have become; a bunch of work loathing, pleasure seeking, age defying loafers.
Remember the old adage “ If it feels good just do it”. That’s become our highest virtue. But, here we have in Ecclesiastes something altogether different. Solomon was saying that’s it’s better in the “house of mourning”. So he is suggesting being in a place of pain is somehow better than “the house of feasting”.
I find myself at times breaking down in tears. I feel like a valve giving way to pressure built up. It’s the grieving process that I am going through since the death of my son. God in His wisdom created human beings to dispense of our grief in steps. Although we want it now, since we don’t want any kind of pain in our lives, it is something that takes time.
Solomon talks about how in the house of mourning we realize that is the end of all men. One day our lives will come to an end. That’s something that, without hope in God, we all dread. It says, “the living will lay it to his heart.” It means to reflect upon or to ponder.
I can say that in this time of mourning God is building something in me of deep meaning and value. I now desire to use my time for things that have purpose and will have effect long after I am gone. The trivial and transient things in this life no longer have an appeal for me. Mourning truly has a purpose. It clarifies our priorities. It helps us to aim for higher in life. It builds our character to become people who can make a difference in the life of someone else for the good.
Sometimes going to the house of mourning just means taking the higher and sometimes painful road. God may be asking to make the harder choice. It’s going to cost you something. But, know it’s going to do a deeper work in your life. Let Him walk with you every step of the way.