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Heaven in the human heart

Light for the Way seriesLight for the Way series
We invite you to take a peek inside our weekly
 Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Chaplain Jenny Schroedel, Optage Hospice

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. —Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV

The book of Ecclesiastes – often attributed to King Solomon – might seem a little a depressing at the outset:
“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”

Ecclesiastes goes on to say that all the things we think will satisfy us — success at work, riches, education, earthly pleasure and even the wisdom we acquire — have limited value because this life is fleeting. The song ‘Dust in the Wind’ by Kerry Livgren vividly captures this:
“…Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.”
These reflections form the backdrop for the profoundly hopeful verse in Ecclesiastes 3. Recognizing that we have very little control over many things can help us to see the bigger picture.
The verse “He has made everything beautiful in its time” suggests that even if we can’t feel it or see it, God is at work, weaving the moments of our lives into something greater (and more meaningful) than we can possibly imagine. We live at the edge of a vast mystery and much that is unclear now will ultimately be made clear. As it says in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.”
The teacher in Ecclesiastes is right — life is so much more than what we do or what we earn or what we enjoy. However, the moments of our lives can be full of meaning when we realize that they open to Eternity. Like a compass, eternity is also in our hearts, helping us find our way Home. He will make everything beautiful in its time. Our job here is to make the moments count.

Concluding PHS staff prayer

Eternal God, You are constant in Your love for us in every moment. Waken our hearts to the light of Your presence, and to the magnitude of Your abiding forgiveness and love. Help us to live beyond ourselves, and to live for others, especially the people in our midst. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Chaplain Jenny SchroedelOptage Hospice Chaplain Jenny Schroedel facilitates grief groups across PHS sites and in the larger community. She lived in Hawaii for a decade, before returning home to Minnesota. In Hawaii she worked as Director of Bereavement Services and helped found Hospice of Kona’s Maluihi Grief Center. Jenny is also an author, most recently of Naming The Child: Hope-filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death. 

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:
Lament and hope
Truth still matters
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care website

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