Week 43 Thursday


Today’s scripture selection: Ecclesiastes 1-2

Key verse: Ecclesiastes 1:1

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.

“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”


It’s quite a cynical thought:


Everything – and he means everything – is meaningless.


He had tried it all, nothing satisfied.  Not money; not sensuality; not worldly wisdom; not fame or power.


And the one who first penned these words did indeed have most of what the world says is significant.


Still, it fell flat.


We can feel that same way too; give in to a certain cynicism about life.  I’ve known too many who have done that – some of them clergy.


But, thankfully, I embrace no such defeated attitude.


I have witnessed and experienced too much compassion; too much kindness; too much spiritual truth; too much beauty; too much love – and most of all – too much grace – to sit back in some cynical funk.


God is real – and so is His amazing grace.  I can attest to it.  And I hope and pray that I always will.


Do others believe me?


Some do; some don’t.  Such is the way of life and the way of human free will.


But, as long as I am able, I will proclaim loud and clear that life, this one and the next, is anything but meaningless.


Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for gracing me with a life full of meaning and purpose, through your love, AMEN.



By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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