Ecclesiastes – Stepping Behind the Word

One of the interesting things that struck me from reading the introductory material from the Ecclesiastes commentary is the deliberate anonymity of the author. “The words dominate in Ecclesiastes even as the “I” speaks them, and in that sense Ecclesiastes is much like other books in the Old Testament, whose originators have taken great pains to retreat behind the words and erase their footsteps*.”

I find this interesting, as it defines my thoughts on writing as well. It’s funny…there are two widely held misconceptions about me. One is that I’m selfish (I have written about this before) and it has made me hate having to ask people for help. I am selfish, just like we all are, but I try my best not to be. I would much rather not have something than ask someone!

The other crazy idea that people have about me is that I love the spotlight. The causes of the comment are true – I do enjoy speaking, especially narrating, enjoy ballroom dancing, singing, acting, and teaching, and was even on a game show. I also ask a lot of questions and strive to fully understand everything I am involved in. My reasons for enjoying these activities have absolutely nothing to do with receiving praise for my actions or drawing attention to myself. In fact, receiving compliments has always been something that’s hard for me!

I can’t really explain why I enjoy the things that I do, but I definitely can say it’s not about being in the spotlight. I don’t mind being in front of people, but it doesn’t motivate me either. In fact, I can clearly see how difficult life is for those who are perceived as “famous”.

I can’t say that I always felt this way, as I think I used to live up to people’s expectations. Maybe it was just easier to do that than be different? I’m not really sure, but once I spent time learning who I truly was, I realized that I am not the person some people assume!

I don’t do as many “good” things as I’d like, but when I do, I try to do them without bringing attention to myself. It still kind of makes me uncomfortable when people say nice things to be, but it’s more than that… I don’t want things to be about me – I’d much rather them be about God or the other person. Some people who claim to know me would likely disagree with my statement, but God knows my heart and I hope my sincerity comes across to Him, because He’s the only one that matters.

The timing of the commentary statement was perfect, as someone recently suggested I post my picture and name on my blog. I wanted to explain where I was coming from, but truthfully, lacked the right words. Dr. Provan’s quotation regarding Old Testament authors conveys exactly what I wanted to say!

As far as my blog, I truly enjoy writing and consider it an outlet, as well as a means of learning about myself and God. It is my hope that my writings will encourage other people to think about themselves and their relationship with God, so truly, my identity is irrelevant.

The earlier writings I am slowly posting are slightly edited devotionals from my former church’s Women’s Ministry newsletters, where I have removed all references to specific people or our church. When the first edition of the newsletter was printed, I was concerned about my name being listed on the devotional, as I was afraid someone might feel I thought too highly of myself for writing so casually to the women of our church. I eventually made peace with authorship, as if there was a problem with something I said, I would rather take responsibility for my words than for people think they represented the views of the Women’s Ministry.

The truth is, I’m just a regular person, who loves to write, and wants to encourage other people to pursue God and embrace their spiritual journey. While I write mostly about my own personal experiences (because that’s what I know), I don’t want anything I do to be completely about me – but, rather be about God and others.

*Provan, Iain “The NIV Application Commentary: Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs”. Zondervan, 2001.

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