Yesterday, I started reading the book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes "Qoheleth" means Preacher in Hebrew. I'm not sure why I feel I've never heard anything about this book, but as I read, I kept wondering.
The author (most likely King Solomon) uses the word "meaningless" and "chasing after the wind" more than I can count. He talks about living life with our own efforts is nothing but meaningless. How we accumulate things, work harder to get more, all to find happiness. We have all been told that money can't buy you happiness, but to actually read the observations in Ecclesiastes was like a breath of fresh air. Complete truth.
See, I struggle much with balancing what I should do with my time, our money, how much I should invest in outside relationships an our own little family relationships. I watch others carefully. The way they live, how they love, how they spend their money. I admire those who give their lives to serve others daily. I admire those who have much in savings etc. I honestly just admire the confidence of those who live either way. They are happy and confident what they do or don't do with their time and money is where God has led them, and that's good enough.
I struggle, because if I'm honest we have have been given a wonderful job and home and I have a hard time feeling good about that, and when I do, I feel guilty.
As in King Solomon's experience, life can feel meaningless. I have so many thoughts of how all of this adds up. In the end does it all even matter?
Then I read this:
3:12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
This is a gift from God.
Sure, enjoy your hard work, your life. Be happy, for this is a gift from God. But, this is the duty of all mankind:
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil
What I've taken from this book is that as I look to others, read books, or try to do this all on my own, it will always feel meaningless. When I fear God and His word, and obey Him and honor Him, I am set free to enjoy that of which would have been meaningless as a gift from Him. We do not have to feel guilty or worried, because this is His gift to us. My question shouldn't even be about how to make this life more meaningful, but how I'm honoring God daily.
For we know that according to Romans, all scripture is for our learning so we will have hope.
4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
I encourage you to sit down this week and read the book of Ecclesiastes. It's not meaningless! :)