Here’s a verse from the Book of Ecclesiastes that a friend of mine shared with me tonight. It’s a verse she has found to be a key part of her personal spiritual practice.

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 NIV

I think that this translation or interpretation makes more clear what the writer of Ecclesiastes was trying to say:

Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 NLT

These are indeed words to live by. It is so true that none of us knows what tomorrow may bring. We all have our share of the “good stuff” and it’s just as certain that the “bad stuff” comes around with regularity.

And time often has a way of helping us see the the “good times” may not have been as good as it seemed, and the “bad” not as bad, perhaps.

But while you’re in it, whether it seems good or bad at the time, remember that the wheel will turn; other experiences will come around. And that God, or the Universe or the Divine One brings them all to you.

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis

3 thoughts on “Words to Live By

    1. Thank you! And thank you for sharing how much this passage means to you. I love the many ways inspiration comes. Often through good friends. It’s enough to make me stop channeling my “inner hermit!”


  1. “God is all things or it is nothing” is one of the spiritual teachings I have been digesting as of late… a slightly different perspective of the same verse… it is a more generalized statement though, extending the view/scope of God’s… hand? seed? part in our lives? from only knowing God as separate from us and “moving” our lives to knowing God as a part of us or us a part of God. And not just “us” humans, but EVERYTHING and EVERYONE (and yes, even Donald Trump)… the good, the bad, the ugly, the fear, suffering, the love.


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