Life can seem mundane. Life is in fact mundane. The sun rises and sets. Generations come and go. The winds run in their circuit. The rivers run continuously into the seas, but the seas never fill. Man’s work is never done. Man is never satisfied with his work. Solomon set out to understand everything done under heaven and concluded that all is vanity. He pursued wisdom, madness and folly and might as well have tried to grasp the wind.
Solomon came to hate life realizing that the wise and the foolish all come to the same end. This hopeless perspective could have consumed Solomon, but the wise man realized that God’s blessings were embedded in the routines, the labor, the events and the emotions experienced during life. All things are appropriate and beautiful in their time. It is man’s responsibility to rejoice and do good although we will never understand God’s work. We do know that everything God does lasts for eternity. Although man returns to dust as do the animals, man will ultimately be judged by God.
Poverty with companionship is far better than loneliness with both hands full. Prudent behavior, sincere worship, intent to learn and few words will preserve us before God. Honest labor makes sweet rest and enjoying the fruits of that labor is man’s heritage.
Remember that a good name is better than expensive lotion. Mourning, sorrow and rebuke teach valuable lessons. The end of life and the end of anything in life is better than the beginning. Wisdom is a defense and provides strength. God made man upright, but man persists in scheming to do evil.
Considering time and chance, the best course is to live righteously. The righteous, the wise and their works are all in the hand of God. Enjoy life, enjoy family, work hard and make the best of every minute of this life. Life holds dark days. It is important to remember them too so that we may keep balance. It is important to remember that life on earth is vanity beginning with youth. Man yearns desperately to find purpose in life, to be appreciated, to be loved and to be remembered. There is no greater appreciation than for forgiveness of sins. There is no greater love than God’s love. There is no greater purpose than to serve our Creator.
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened, And the clouds do not return after the rain; In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, And the strong men bow down; When the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look through the windows grow dim; When the doors are shut in the streets, And the sound of grinding is low; When one rises up at the sound of a bird, And all the daughters of music are brought low; Also they are afraid of height, And of terrors in the way; When the almond tree blossoms, The grasshopper is a burden, And desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about the streets. Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 NKJV). “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV).
Ken Fleeman (2018-01-06)