Is there anything new under the sun?
Solomon says no.
With a little more than one day left in 2012, the speaker at our church Sunday asked the congregation what we thought.
I gave the question a solid half hour or so, I promise.
Then my 11-year-old daughter and I went about our frantic, thank-god-the-holidays-are-almost-over, suburban rainy day.
– We argued about her nail polish. (She said it was dry, I said it was wet, and when she smudged it and I said ‘I told you so’, she refused to speak to me for at least three whole Taylor Swift songs.)
– We argued about whether she was done with her flat brush so I could use it in place of my round brush I forgot in a hotel room on a business trip. She said her hair looked terrible and she needed her brush and that I should go buy my own brush.
– We stopped at Starbucks rather than go to the grocery store for real food. Her chai latte was cold. My oatmeal was watery.
– We argued about whether using my acne concealer to hide her own pimples made them look less or, in fact, MORE noticeable.
– She forced me to watch the season premiere of Dance Moms (ok, she informed me the trash reality show about tweenage dancers and their overbearing mothers was BACK ON TELEVISION! and I happily joined her on the couch with a half-eaten holiday cheese ball).
But that question from Ecclesiastes had lodged itself in my brain along with the Pete Seeger song that follows it.
At 35 and still using acne concealer, having the same stupid yet intimately lovely squabbles with my girl as my mother did with me at that age, I’m at first blush inclined to agree with King Solomon.
The older I get, the more patterns I see. The greater is my awareness of time.
There is a time to be born, a time to die.
A time to plant, a time to reap…
And so the same, logically, could be true of God. If God has been around since the beginning of time and has an awareness of time’s end, then of course: To God, there’s absolutely nothing new under the sun.
But who am I to say what surprises God.
If you believe God created the whole of existence – the parts we see and understand, as well as the parts we will NEVER see nor understand – and if you have even a remote concept of the vastness of this universe and of the theoretical complexities possible within it, then you know how small we are.
While we may know or have experienced more than our children (or not!), we know far less than we can even imagine.
I think Solomon may have been wrong.
There is infinite new under the sun.
May we each discover pieces in 2013.
Note: I’ve submitted this post to YeahWrite, a group of bloggers dedicated to improving the quality of writing published on the internet. I came across this site thanks to a blog called I Miss You When I Blink, which made mention of it earlier this week. Blink is awesome. Way funnier than me and with this penguin thing a lot of my friends are into.