You eat too much and lead a sedentary lifestyle. You are fat and weak. These things bring you shame, there on your body, displayed for all the world to see, are the choices you made.
You chose to indulge, to enjoy, to sprawl out in comfort and relax. You gave in time and time again. You revel in the feelings of naughtiness that succumbing to your passions brings – when you give in, you are proud of your defiance against “ought” and “should”.
But when time comes to display the fruits of your choices, then you regret, then you are full of shame for the visceral joys that you so gleefully selected.
Time, and time, again.
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
What does it profit a man, all his labour under the sun?
One generation passes, another generation comes, but the universe abides forever.
The sun rises, the sun sets, and rushes to the place from whence it came.
The wind blows south, then turns about to the north, whirling continually, returning in it’s circuits.
All rivers run to the sea, yet the sea is not full. Into the place from whence rivers come, so they return again.
All things are full of toil, man cannot utter it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, the ear not filled by hearing.
The thing that has been is that which shall be, and that which is done is that which shall be done, and there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there anything of which it may be said “see, this is new”? It has already been of old, in the time that came before us.
There is no memory of former things, nor shall there be memory of that which is to come in those who come after.
How could they? They’re cruel, they’re mean, they don’t know what they just said no to. You’re not so bad, right? Or maybe you are… this isn’t the first time.
You used to think you were hot stuff, you used to think you occupied if not the far right of the bell curve, at least the top 10%. Now you re-evaluate. It was probably that damn Dunning–Kruger effect. You must have misappraised yourself because you’re too incompetent to appraise yourself well. How many times has this happened? At least that many obviously superior specimens must exist. Scale it up to proportionality, you can’t be better than a low average.
Low average? Is that so bad… embrace your mediocrity maybe?
No. It is salt on the slug named Ego. You look around desperately for water, but there is nothing to quench this saline death.
You died like this many times before, somehow always forget, big yourself up again… you do not like it, but it is becoming quite familiar.
For years you avoided making any kind of commitment, no matter how trivial, because you understood the gravity of the thing. You did not pick up the weight because you might drop it and even if you didn’t you would have to carry it for life.
In a giddy fit of romanticism though, you broke with convention. You – starry eyed – declared you would carry most heavy burdens for Him for ever. You would do it all because He would be there to support you. He would give you the strength. You knew that with His help you could do it.
After the promise was made, you wavered. “Where is He?” you asked, “will He not help me bear this Cross?”
And at the wayside, there stood another. Weaker, denser, full of fear and self doubt. “Help me” he cried.
“Are you there?” you shouted to Him. Silence.
So you put down the Cross and crossed to tend the wounded. It gave you much joy – but the Cross remained, lying tattered and battered in the road. You regret dragging it this far, you regret it sitting there, taunting you, reminding you of promises broken.
“I will never leave you alone” you tell him. But now you know what you are capable of betraying, and you fear it.
Roll over, muffled sounds from outside, light through the window.
Slow dawn of realisation. Wait, savour the warmth and comfort for a little longer.
Sound outside, light so bright, wrench open your eyes.
Check the time, check the time, what time is it?
Too Late! That’s the time! How will you explain, which excuse will suffice? Lies? Truth?
Do you rush to get ready? You are already hours late. Linger in the warm a little longer… hugging the nagging discomfort of guilt.
You don’t want to go to sleep. You know that come the morning you have things to do. People to see. A reputation to maintain.
You want the weekend to last forever. Endless irresponsibility, endless rest. Anything to avoid the memory of the march of time, of the things that must be done. If you had nothing to do, you would long once again for obligations for a path forward, for goals and targets, but having those things you despise them and the prison they have you in.
If you never slept, you surmise, the morning would never come. Eternal night, with no tomorrows.
Despite the low level buzzing of anxiety, you waver, your eyes are weak. Where youth could once propel you sleepless for days, now you are old and weary, sinking quietly into the sands of time.