All is Vapor

CALEB JOSEPH WARNER

I just got done writing a short story called All is Vaping and I want to get this in writing before I forget it, but I discovered what the story is really doing. What the story is doing is showing that all the fear and loathing as demonstrated by the book of Ecclesiastes, all that existential angst and weariness, points to the need for an eternal home.

Of course in one sentence this seems like a simple proposition, but when it comes to the thick of it, the very thing that points to God is often the thing that those who are not on the best of terms with God use to deny him. We make things so complicated for ourselves. We do not want to be saved, we do not want to get better, we do not want to admit how scared we are. So we pacify our fear of the vapor of all vapors, our own lives, by telling ourselves we have achieved distance from our fear. We have come to treat the fear as a badge of our years without addressing the fear. We are familiar with the fear, but we never at root see it for what it is. Wrapped up in the fear, and the fear is that all we do here is empty, is the necessity for there to be more beyond us, some being that watches our every move and in fact is judging our every thought and weighing it. The ones who are not on the best of relationships with the Creator say that they despise if this were the case, to have our thoughts weighed. But in fact we all wish so very much for our thoughts to have at least some weight, to amount to something. Without the Creator, our thoughts are as vapor. Our lusts are vapor, our urges vapor, our insights and bits of wisdom vapor. They are vapor of vapors and so is our life. What we want is for someone to at least take us seriously, to take our thoughts seriously, to tell us that what we do and what we spend our time with has weight to it.

But we refuse to accept the weight when Ecclesiastes says the weight is there. Ecclesiastes says, “Watch what you do and say.” God will hold us accountable. All of those vapors come burdened with responsibility. We only recoil from this, because we are all a little bitch who wants to be safe while simultaneously getting our own way.

But God has placed eternity into our hearts and what is more, he has placed these eternal things into an uneternal world, yet we are the ones to blame who cut off our own access to that which we crave. We crave the eternal in our hearts to be placed in a vessel fitting. The world we see now and the homes we make now are not the fitting vessels quite yet and we will never learn how to enjoy them until we, as the book of Ecclesiastes says, know that we must go to our eternal home.

It is the blind man who reads Ecclesiastes and says it is a hopeless book, that is it nothing but existential dread. That man’s reading of the book is what condemns him, because he cannot see the hope inherent in a proclamation like this: “God will hold everything you do and say with the weight you wished it were measured with.” The hopeless man will always be hopeless and the man with wisdom will always be wise and the fool will always be a fool and the wind turns around and comes back again and we must contemplate whether we want to be part of those who prove that there is something new under the sun within the borders the natural rules set for the imperfect vessel of creation, a vessel that with its unnewness cries out for newness, cries out for the new life of one who weighs in his mind the seriousness of his thoughts and his fears and says to God the father, “I am scared, because the world you made cannot contain everything within me. This life span cannot contain everything within me. What does it all come to?”

And when the windows break and the grasshopper drags itself along and the ladies stop singing, then we can say that what it all comes to is perfection of the eternal home made out of the world worn away with wind after wind and life after life. The winds themselves will cry out, “Enough! There is nothing left in us.” But we will be the ones that are left after the winds die out, our eternal souls unfurling in their new home with the rage of a perpetually burning fire.

3 thoughts on “All is Vapor

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