Ecclesiastes

March 26, 2008 at 1:54 pm (Spiritual)

God is good with two-by-fours, especially when you’re going along and think you don’t even need them. It seems that it’s then that he picks one up and smacks you across the face with it.

I’m in a good place right now. Not the perfect place, because the perfect place doesn’t come until after death, but a good place. I’ve been in some bad places and I’ve looked for answers, and suddenly the two-by-four came down and it all seemed so obvious. Now…now it’s more like a reminder to keep my life pointed in the right direction. It’s so easy to let school and friends and fun obscure everything else. Sometimes we need a reminder.

Have you ever read Ecclesiastes? I had before, but more with that forced interest that meant the words slithered across optic pathways, were translated, and promptly discarded. It’s why I hate reading for school assignments. But we discussed it today in class, and it suddenly connected. The words weren’t just ink on paper, but thoughts of someone from thousands of years ago. And they were true.

It’s an interesting book. “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” Hm. At first, it seems depressing. If everything is meaningless, what’s the point? Why do we struggle and strive and fight for something that, in the end, means nothing? Wisdom goes with you into the grave, leaving you with nothing. Money goes through the generations to be squandered. No amount of notoriety or fame helps you once you’re gone. You may be remember for a few years, but eventually all you are is a name, a collection of letters that used to be a person, but now is just a fact. How many pharaohs of Egypt can you name? Or emperors of Rome? Do you know who invented writing, something vitally key to everyday life? How many Nobel Peace Prize winners can you name? Sure, you can achieve fame. But generations fade your notoriety like waves against a cliff. Soon, there’s a dim impression. We know of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great, but we don’t know them. All that is left is the shadowed outline of a figure in history.

That’s not the point of the book though. The point is that without God, without something higher, it all ends in death. Nothing you have will amount to anything. But, with God, there is a purpose. The seeking becomes towards his ends. And he can be sure they will prosper. It still ends in death, but that’s just the beginning. Toiling and seeking knowledge will make life difficult and wearisome. Rather, the final words issue a call. “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man.” That’s it. Then, God gives good things. He gives wisdom and success. He gives friends and school and fun. The point of our lives is to live for God. That gives life meaning. Without God, it doesn’t matter what you do. It will end in death, it will end in nothing, it will end in meaninglessness.

But with God. With God it doesn’t end. Living here is just the first step to living the rest of our lives. So enjoy what you have, work towards what is beneficial for the LORD, and remember what the meaning of life really is. The rest falls into place, even if it isn’t perfect, or even always good. It has a purpose. God knows what he’s doing, and as long as you remember him, it will find it’s meaning. 

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