Hemingway Meets King Solomon – 2

Good Without God! Really!?! (Part VII)

Ernest_Hemingway in KenyaMany years ago I saw a video presentation by a PhD psychologist/psychiatrist from Colorado, named Morris Massey. He had conducted a study regarding how workers, at different levels within an organization, responded to different situations. I have never forgotten his basic premise, with which, I can say today, I still concur.

The presentation was entitled “You Are What You Were When.” The primary point, as I recall, is that the first 10 years of your life set in concrete many parameters regarding how you will develop your adult lifestyle and how you will respond to various extraordinary situations with which you are confronted.

The time period and culture in which we live, the belief, or lack of belief in God, our family dynamics-parents or none, national and international events all play a part in shaping us to be who we are.

Young Ernest Hemingway, born in 1899, grew up in a burgeoning world, where the USA was just beginning to find its place as a world leader. It was a time of peace and prosperity. However, he led a conflicted childhood, with a father who was a country doctor, avid outdoorsman, and a stern disciplinarian easily applying corporal punishment. He was apathetic toward the things of God. An overbearing mother, although religious, created great trauma in the unusual and quirky way she treated her children. He developed an intense hatred of his mother. More than likely his lust for adventure and accomplishing great feats stemmed from a need to prove he was a man.

Solomon, the child of King David and Bathsheba, grew up in the years of David’s kingdom when times were really good. However, David failed miserably as a father. The warrior king who led his men through for years, was a passive dad, drifting in his ability to maintain a close relationship with God or any relationship with his children. Solomon must have absorbed a great love for God as a child and young adult. But, he was surrounded with great wealth in a royal family. More importantly, his father clearly loved and lusted after many women while he ignored the deep problems boiling over with his children.

So, it seems these early years had the predicted effect as Hemingway and Solomon moved into adulthood. There is no doubt Hemingway was a man of action, a great journalist and novelist; but, a poor husband and absent father. There were four suicides in his family: his father, Clarence, siblings Ursula and Leicester, and granddaughter Margaux. In addition, his youngest son, Gregory, living as a transsexual named Gloria, died of likely unnatural causes in 2001.

Ernest, himself, seemed to be on a slippery slope of life from the time he learned of his father’s suicide. The world system evaluates success differently than does a Holy God. But, even with his success as a writer his life was spinning out of control with freak accidents, womanizing, substance abuse and apparent mental illness. By age 60 he was nearly unable to write anything. His own suicide could have been predicted by reading his novels and articles, and listening to him. He was predisposed to the subject of death, comparing the death of his wild game and sport fish to that of man; even intimating he wrote to keep from killing himself. He took his own life on July 2, 1961, with a double-barreled shotgun.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

The book of Ecclesiastes, coupled with 1 Kings, shows how Solomon drifted from God in his adult years. And with that, he allowed the nation of Israel to drift into full blown apostasy. In addition, like his father, he neglected his children, a fact that led to the split in the kingdom between the 10 tribes in the north and the 2 tribes in the south, after his death. However, Solomon held on to the firm belief in a Sovereign, Almighty God. And he drew back to that in the last years of his life.lonely road

What’s the point? Many are the roads we travel down in life; many the opportunities; many the pitfalls. I am reminded of a poem I heard long ago – the following is just 3 stanzas of it

Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past (Read the whole POEM)

by C. T. Studd (His life story is worth investigating)

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6


Author: Sojourner

I am a slave of my Master, Jesus Christ, the living Son of God. Learner. Teacher. Writer. Sojourner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s