Discover His heart: All that is meaningful in life comes from Him
Many individuals feel a need as they begin to age to make a record or a memoir of their years on earth. Some memoirs are filled with funny escapades and joyous moments, some are tell-alls written simply to embarrass others, and some memoirs are just plain sad with stories of disappointments and tragedy.
Most memoirs are filled with both the hills and the valleys of life, like the one written by my husband’s Aunt Ottie. She was in her 80’s when she decided to write it all down – finding the Lord as her Savior, fulfilling God’s calling on her life as a Kentucky mountain missionary, raising a family, losing a husband and God’s faithfulness through it all. I loved reading it because it’s a story that lifts the spirit. Ecclesiastes is a memoir of sorts that doesn’t have quite that same effect due to the negative outlook of the author, most believing it to be Solomon. However, mixed in with all his pessimism are some wonderful truths that make it well worth the read.
Solomon begins with, “Everything is meaningless,’ says the Teacher, ‘completely meaningless!… Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied…I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.” (1:1,8,14) This sounds like someone having a really bad life. We struggle through life trying to achieve and accumulate a fraction of all that Solomon had, and then he has the nerve to say that it is all meaningless. I guess he would know.
In his pursuit of a meaningful life, Solomon tried pleasures of all kinds that included drinking, gaining material possessions, philosophy, and even hard work, but it all was meaningless to him, like chasing the wind, a pointless pursuit to say the least. The real problem was that at some point, Solomon left God out of his life. God blessings without humility can become a very destructive thing in life, and Solomon, the wisest man on earth, had done a very foolish thing when he became distracted by all his blessings and deserted the God of his father.
Solomon painted a dismal picture of life and its meaning without God, but thankfully, a moment of clarity came to him as he neared the end of his life. “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from Him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please Him.” (2:24-26)
Forgive me if I sound a little Solomonesque, but I often think of each day that God gives to us as a flower. We can enjoy our flower, smell its fragrance, enjoy its beauty and make the very most of it or we can ignore it, cast it aside or even step on it. The choice is ours. Our flower will fade by day’s end, but tomorrow is another flower from God’s hand, and it just seems we would want to enjoy what He has handed to us. I question how we can glory in any achievement or gain we have experienced yet disregard the One who gave it to us. I guess it would be, as the man said, meaningless.
Moving Forward: “And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” (I John 2:17) Looking forward to that day, the flower that never fades!
Tomorrow @ Habakkuk