The Greek myth of Sisyphus is the story of a man, who upon cheating death twice, is punished by Zeus by being forced to eternally push a boulder up a hill. Every time Sisyphus gets close to making it over the crest, the boulder rolls back toward him.
The biblical author of Ecclesiastes sums up this experience for us as humans:
says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless.”
What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?...
All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
- Ecclesiastes 1:2-3, 8a
There are times in our lives when we are so tired and weary. We need a break and we long for the routine to change. There is suffering everywhere we look, the news is bad, the challenges are tough. And yet...
Author Rob Bell notes in his 2019 tour "An Introduction to Joy:" The brilliance of Ecclesiastes is: however bad you think it is, it's worse. Your starting point is "oh, my word, we're all gonna die, maybe soon." And if you can accept that, now you actually have a shot at joy. Look at this wonderful gift of life! The poet Rocha said "to be here is glorious." And for many people, they're overwhelmed with the sorrow and the very real sufferings of the world. Life is so fragile. It's so temporary. The Hebrew word for it in Ecclesiastes is "vapor" - you're here, and then you're gone.
Whatever boulders are in your way today, see them and name them. Find the courage to jump out of their way and let them roll to the bottom of your mountain - it doesn't have to roll over you once you let it go. The story of our faith, the message of Easter, says the work of the boulders has already been done.
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.
Life is short. Enjoy it as much as you can. May the season of Easter help you find your joy.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?