“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? Generations come and generations go.
Pictures on My Phone
My phone is full of pictures of moments that I thought were so very important. I have picture after picture of meals with friends, a beautiful view, or even selfies in a place I have never been before. Yet I must admit, I don’t do much with these pictures. Many of them are great memories, but I rarely look at them. Few get printed out. Eventually, my phone tells me I am out of storage, so I end up deleting them in large groups.
The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that so much of our life is like the pictures on our phone. Significant in the moment, but not so significant long-term. Yes, there is joy found in time spent with family and friends. There is good work to be done at our jobs, in our homes, communities, and churches. God has given us a beautiful and bountiful world, and he wants us to find satisfaction from that world.
The book of Ecclesiastes also confronts us with the truth that there is nothing permanently gained in much of our lives. Much of our life consists of things that are good for the moment but are soon gone. Like pictures on my phone, they are important for a while, and then they are soon forgotten and eventually gone.
Ecclesiastes instead invites you to find your meaning in things that truly last. Find meaning for your life in God’s gracious Word to you in the love, forgiveness, and mercy he offers. Find meaning for your life in the work of Jesus that promises you a life to come that has no end.
So much of life is only for a short while. All of Jesus’ work for you will last forever.
Gracious Father, thank you for the joys of this life but remind me that real meaning is found only in you. Amen.