Week 3: Ecclesiastes 1: 18
18 For in much [human] wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
The Truth Hurts!
Over Come Fear
When I first started my business I thought the whole world would eventually see me as the fraud I really was. I had never done even an inkling of the things I truly believed in my heart I was capable of. In hind sight, I’ll admit that it wasn’t healthy to have those doubts, but at the time I don’t think the world had enough books or the internet websites to placate my fears of not knowing enough. My quest for knowledge was insatiable. Now, almost a year later, I’ve found a way to overcome those fears, but the habit of reading about everything my brain can form into words is firmly rooted into my psyche. I guess the common terminology of my “condition” would be defense mechanism or maybe an instinctual survival tactic. My wife of 9 months would unfortunately refer to it as a detriment to our young marriage. To be completely candid, I simply don’t agree; not because I think she’s wrong, but because I “need” to be smarter than my consumer to remain the expert that I am. Consumers will only buy from me if they don’t know as much as I do; especially in my field……of dreams. I’ve tricked my mind into believing that people want to buy what I know, not what they need. That truth has almost brought me to tears during times our financial drought. That truth has literally made me feel so bottled up with knowledge I could feel my bones begin to shake from the pressure.
My story is in no way germane; it’s the story of every entrepreneur. We’re all chasing tomorrow because the limitations of today have also exposed the limitations of our humanity. Knowledge & ingenuity become our remedy for the brokenness that has eaten a God shaped hole through the depths of our hearts. “…he who increases knowledge increases sorrow”
Our human knowledge is a depreciating commodity
I’ve seen the pious become the destitute. I’ve seen the poor become rich. I’ve seen the hated become heroes. I’ve seen the glow of life in a child’s smile become a gnarled grin of deceit. I’ve seen knowledge become sorrow. You’ve most likely seen it too. Remember the people carrying boxes outside of Lehman Brothers? Do you remember seeing the cars empty out of the GM and Chrysler plant parking lots? Do you remember the look on the face of Bernie Madoff as he was walked through the sea of cameras entering the court house? I sat in on a support group about two weeks for people that have recently lost their jobs. The meeting was full of accomplished executives from the top companies in our area who were now using each others shoulders to cry on. The magic carpet ride was truly over for these people, but like a dog returning to its vomit (Proverbs 26:11) they are reading self-help book after self-help book, learning twitter, taking classes, even cutting their hair and buying younger looking clothing to appeal to employers. Our human knowledge is a depreciating commodity that will never be worth the price we put on it.
95% of High Ranking Executives lost their Jobs
95% of the people that attended the support group were high ranking executives at one time. All I could think as I looked around that room was how far the mighty had fallen. The speaker that day was a life coach. She opened her lesson up with the statement “I’m just thanking Father, Mother God for this opportunity.” It was at that moment I realized how dangerous knowledge was apart from God. Our words are poisonous arrows thrust deep into the flesh apart from the grace, mercy and understanding of God. The people in the meeting were distraught because all the knowledge they had accumulated became nothing in a matter of seconds, and here I was to plug my new project. They didn’t need a new project! They needed a Savior to fill the God shaped hole the loss of their job left in the middle of their heart. Although they were there to find a job to put the remnants of their tattered lives back together, what I actually heard was “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:2). How many of you know what David meant when he penned those words? I know I do!