Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vanity of Vanities...All things are Vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:2

I really should name my next kid or animal Ecclesiastes.  It's such a cool name and I am sure they would be wise.  That's not the topic of this blog. The topic is me.  Me, me, me.  It's all about I, it's all about me, it's all about number 1... or however the country song goes.  I'll admit, I am vain. I'm so vain that I just KNOW Carly Simon wrote that song about me.  I am becoming increasingly vain since I turned 40 this year (or as my girlfriends say foh-tay).  It's this hair.  I am refusing to go grey.  I have been this way for a few years.  One of my running friends, who isn't much older than me said "girl, you just gotta embrace it!"  She looks fabulous grey.  I just can't do it, yet.  My husband wants me to let nature take its course.  I know, it's vanity

I've always wanted red hair. So, in October I did it. I am not a red head. You have to be born that way.  I found myself looking good in green, a color blondes steer clear of and I couldn't wear red, a color that blondes embrace.  I decided I may as well try it before I let it go all grey.  Mistake, now it's a process to get it back to the dirt blonde I was before. I am in a transitional 'white trash' looking stage.  Good thing it's hat season.  I also decided I should get bangs to hide the wrinkles and receding hair line. Maybe I could pull off the red, but I sure couldn't keep up.  Within 3 weeks grey starts creeping in.  Same when I am blond but it seems to hide it better.  Vanity.

Another vanity of mine: selfies.  I don't like taking them because I usually don't like what I look like.  If I wasn't vain then I would be posting some pretty ridiculous photos.  I definitely would never win most photogenic.  This selfie is of my new hat and scarf my mommy made for me!  I wanted to show the blond hair in hat season.

I joke and say you know you're 40 when...you are plucking chin hairs and fighting wrinkles but still have to borrow your teenager's pimple cream.  Ugh. Running is a great way to keep you young. The only negative thing is it doesn't help with the wrinkles.  My legs are even wrinkling.   All that jarring and sun wreaks havoc on the skin. You see older people who are running, they look great, but not in shorts.  Vanity.

Some things I am not so vain on...I wear make up only on Sundays, special occasions or maybe on Friday, shopping day.  I like (live) in yoga and pj pants.  Jeans are an equivalent to a dress for me.  I may not have embraced grey, but I have embraced my crooked teeth.  My  hair is in a pony tail most days.   My husband met me in peach sweat pants, no make up and a pony tail and that's how he prefers me.  So, I am just making him happy. ;)

My intent in writing this wasn't really about my appearances but as David's son Quheleth says, "all things are vanity."  What's all this really matter?  And boy, now more than ever, is this culture vain. Selfies, status updates, tweeting, blogs.  I have been thinking about writing a blog for about a year.  The questions I struggled with were "am I vain in doing this? is it showing off? are people going to roll their eyes? what does it really matter? how much of my life do I want to share? Do I really need to spending more time on the computer?"  People really have been writing blogs for years. It was called either a journal or diary.  "Nothing is new under the sun" another Qoheleth saying from Ecclisiastes 2:9. I tried writing a journal for about 3 months.  Blogs are just your thoughts out there for everyone to read. 

What can we learn from vanity?  Lots, if you are people person.  I do enjoy learning from others, seeing how they live, appreciating the differences in each unique creature God has made. For those of us that have constant thoughts in our heads, it's a good, positive outlet for creativity.

Are all things really vanity? The introduction to Ecclesiastes in my bible says yes, unless we give thanks to the Creator who has given us all. (The New American Bible) I really think Qoheleth was depressed.  What's all this really matter?  It doesn't really. Nothing is new. We just recreate it in the time and space we are in today.  War is not new, writing is not new, family drama is not new, love and hate are not new, politics are not new, history just repeats itself.  The only thing that is new are inventions and our spin on the world we live in during our lifetime.  To think any different would be vanity.  We are not really that special.  I think the lesson Qohelelth is teaching is humility. 

So my advice, (I am so vain as to think you will take it) that in this social media world we live in be vain, be the unique person you are.  Post your grey hair status', write your blogs, hashtag your thoughts.  But be mindful, be positive, be loving, be giving, be thankful. Use this awesome invention as a way to connect with others to create a world we love, tolerate, embrace each other and help build up the kingdom of God.  Maybe your vanity will touch others in a way that they need, bring a smile to a somewhat depressing day, or help you make a new friend.

One thing I don't get in Carly Simon's song, she says "your so vain you probably think this song is about you" well, isn't it really about him?  So, in my opinion you can be vain, not in an arrogant way, but humbly vain.

Do you think all things are vanity?

Ecclesiastes Chapter 1

1The words of David’s son, Qoheleth, king in Jerusalem:* a
2Vanity of vanities,* says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!b

Vanity of Human Toil

3What profit have we from all the toil
which we toil at under the sun?* c
4One generation departs and another generation comes,
but the world forever stays.
5The sun rises and the sun sets;
then it presses on to the place where it rises.
6Shifting south, then north,
back and forth shifts the wind, constantly shifting its course.
7All rivers flow to the sea,
yet never does the sea become full.
To the place where they flow,
the rivers continue to flow.
8All things are wearisome,*
too wearisome for words.
The eye is not satisfied by seeing
nor has the ear enough of hearing.d
9What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun!e 10Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us.f 11There is no remembrance of past generations;g nor will future generations be remembered by those who come after them.