Today's Scripture: Ecclesiastes 7:8-10 (read scripture)
For good or bad, the end of a matter brings completion. Beginnings always have anticipation, but also anxiety. There is uncertainty at the beginning, but at the end, there is certainty. One can look back to what was accomplished or failed to be accomplished when a matter is ended.
Accordingly, it serves people of faith to learn from the endings encountered on the road of life, for beginnings provide us little instruction.
A patient spirit serves one well. Believers derive no benefit from possessing a haughty spirit. It should be a spirit of patience that is part of the character of people of faith. Cultivating a spirit of patience serves us well on the journey of faith.
The saying goes something like, "Don't sweat the small stuff, and most of it is small stuff."
There are times when we permit the insignificant things to annoy and disturb us. To allow such as a habitual part of our life is to put ourselves in the company of fools. Not a desirable or sought after place. The wise are going to ascertain what is really important and what is of only minor consequence. Little, if any, worry should be spent on the small stuff. Only fools occupy their time majoring on the minor.
The days that have gone before provide security. We lived those days. We completed those days. We know what those days brought. We may be lulled into thinking they were better times. All of the yesterdays were once a today. Our today is destined to be yet another of the yesterdays. Then will we foolishly reflect in our tomorrows how better today was. If so, to what benefit? If so, to what blessing?
W.B. Tichenor is a member of Parkade Baptist Church, Columbia.
This 2011 Advent devotion originally appeared in the November 17 issue of Word&Way.