"Everything is meaningless," says the teacher, "completely meaningless!" -Solomon [Ecclesiastes 1:1]
I just started reading Ecclesiastes and that sentence is the first sentence. Talk about getting right to it?! The man who the world would still say had it all - fame, power, wealth, wisdom + more kicks off the chapter with "everything is meaningless". He literally had everything and still it was all meaningless. At the end of chapter 1 he shares, "But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind." Solomon is acting as a go + tell person here. Dare, we listen?
He lived it, pursued it, chased it and nothing satisfied.
When Solomon was writing this he was FAR FAR far from God. Goodness, imagine with me what Solomon's life would have looked like and what our lives would look like if we pursued God with the intensity with which we pursue the things of this world. Ouch, right?! I am right there with you in that place. Let's not rush right out. Let it break our hearts a bit. Let's confess it. Lament over it.
Let's lean into and listen to the one who went before us and wrote down these words for our good. God used Solomon to tell future generations: Hey, look I did it. Achieved it. Earned it. Had it. Built it. Whatever it was, I had it. And it was meaningless. All because it was apart from God.
Today I just want to be that friend to you + even myself that says...Hey, look we are getting off track here. Forgetting what's most important. We are distracted. Building our kingdoms instead of HIS. The stuff we are pursuing apart from God is meaningless.
What's got your gaze right now? I'll confess mine here and feel free to comment back and confess yours too. Scary? Perhaps. Powerful? Without a doubt! Bring it to the light.
Here is mine:
Last year we moved into a fixer upper. At times this home - a gift from God - has had my gaze. So I fight for the posture to see His faithfulness in that we are even here and that we have the gifts (also from God) to do the work. I fight to remember this home is not just for me or even our family but is a home where the door is always open to just one or even many.
All of the "its" in the home are so very, dare I say, meaningless. Rather, it's the people around our table and the ones that walk through our door (also gifts from God) that breathe meaning into the home. It's where we love God and love others. It's where our Jesus pointing moments happen. It's where these words get typed out. So I praise God for the gift of this home and once again utter, "It's all yours Lord."
In closing, here's a simple prayer to pray.
Father, Today we choose to give the world our glimpses and You alone our gaze. And tomorrow we will choose again. Day in, day out. Fighting for this posture, less we forget. You have planted eternity in our hearts and we ask that the promised Spirit within us would be stronger than the flesh on us. For our good and Your Glory.
As we pray it. We believe it. We are united in our love for you and trust in you. In Jesus' Name. Amen!
Jan 27, 2023 • Posted by Cody Beauseigneur
I actually just got done with studying Ecclesiastes last week. It completely transformed how i think and how i strive to approach things. For instance, a woman i am deeply in love with broke up with me. I still just feel so heavy and it is extremely difficult, i feel lost, i still swear we are supposed to get married so what do i do now, etc… just so much chaos in my heart and then i read Ecclesiastes. WOW! To just be reminded and awoken to the question, “where is my gaze? Is it on the situation that i cannot control and will just sink in? Or is it on God?” It was so inspirational! I still struggle but i can just continually be reminded now, “where is your focus?” MAN! God has been showing me so much through this trial and teaching and growing me!!! Thank you for that hurt, Lord!!! In our weakness he us strong!!! Love you, God!!
Jan 26, 2023 • Posted by C. Weiss
Thank you for this blog post. I just recently gave birth to my first child and am being treated for postpartum depression. In the midst of this season, I’ve been struggling with fear-driven questions about purpose:
“Why am I here?”
“What am I trying to achieve?”
“Why am I not as fulfilled as I hoped?”
“Is it all meaningless?”
This was a perspective I needed to read. Everything is for God’s glory.
Jan 26, 2023 • Posted by Fr Jim
Thanks so much for your vulnerability in sharing such a heartfelt reflection. The OT is full of so much beauty because so often we have an unedited, unfiltered perspective of humanity – the best and worst – in their response to the Lord God. And Solomon’s wisdom transcends time and space reminding us of what’s most important.
Grateful for your reflection Renee
Jan 26, 2023 • Posted by Jordan
WOW! Thank you for this reminder and such a beautiful, powerful prayer!
Jan 26, 2023 • Posted by Paula Johnson
As we pursue our lives and dreams we must realize Everything belongs to God including the very breath we take and all our endeavors to fulfill life’s goals. If we feel we have fallen short of our pursuit to fulfill our potential (and many have) we must remember but one thing is vital and that is to make it to Heaven. Meanwhile to live a life pleasing to Jesus ought to be our ultimate purpose and destiny to fulfill in our lives, witnessing and loving people. If we have done that we have lived a life worth living with true meaning. Everything else is meaningless.
Jan 26, 2023 • Posted by Michael Henderson
“Giving the world our glimpses and God our gaze.” Great phrase! So often we reverse it. Thanks for the reminder.
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