"Beloved, we are always in the wrong,
Handling so clumsily our stupid lives,
Suffering too little or too long,
Too careful even in our selfish loves:
The decorative manias we obey
Die in grimaces round us every day,
Yet through their tohu-bohu comes a voice
Which utters an absurd command ‒ Rejoice.
Yes, I feel it. Too little or too long, too careful... Everything is tainted by limitation and futility. Tohu wa bohu (תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ) is a
Hebrew phrase found in Genesis 1:2. It is usually translated "waste and void," "formless and empty." That's a good description of my attempts to accomplish something in this world. But even my failures are insignificant in light of God's ongoing creation.
When even our best efforts seem to "die in grimaces round us every day," out of the dying and emptiness comes a voice, a presence, laughter. How can this be? Just as in the beginning, God, so it is now and forever: Creation out of emptiness; Resurrection from death; Fruit from seeds planted long ago. Rejoice! The absurd command.