A Meaningful Life – Ecclesiastes 1

Wednesdays in the Word
I started the book of Ecclesiastes in my quiet times and on Wednesdays I will share with you what I am learning. So today – we begin in chapter 1. Ecclesiastes is written by the wisest man to ever live – King Solomon. King Solomon was also known for his immense amount of wealth and his extravagant palace. In chapter one he sits back and evaluates all he has and says, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly Meaningless! Everything is Meaningless!”
Ecclesiastes 1:2-9 saysEverything is meaningless. What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets and hurries back to where it rises again…all things are wearisome more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun…”NIV
As Solomon evaluates the cycles of nature – I think about the how the crisp fall air has arrived AGAIN in Ohio – it’s time for cozy sweaters and a mug of hot cider! Every year at this time, I pull on my jeans, set the hanging baskets (dead) by the roadside for the trash man, tune into Saturday college football (Go Bucks!), sign up for a new fall Bible study at church, and pull out all my soup and crock pot recipes! This is my cozy fall tradition that I know well and love. Do you have fall traditions – winter ones – spring ones and summer ones – and then just repeat them again year in and year out?
Some days it feels like I am headed no where – sun comes up – I cook, clean, do laundry, kiss boo boos, read stories, sun goes down -sun comes up – I cook, clean, do laundry, kiss boo boos, read stories – sun goes down. It feels like I’m on my treadmill and working hard but going no where FAST!

The key word to Ecclesiastes chapter one is meaningless! Apart from God the reality is – all of this really is meaningless! Ecclesiastes 1:14 says “I have seen all things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

Apart from God, life is like chasing after the wind – you will never find fulfillment here! Nothing this world offers leads to a sustained happiness -a girls night out, a Starbucks drink, a trip to the beach or a new pair of shoes all are just temporary band aids to cover the pain of this reality. But Ecclesiastes 12:13 tells us how to find meaning and joy in our lives “Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
That’s it – this IS the duty of man – to “fear God and keep his commandments.” Put that on your to-do list! Will you do that today? If so – every season of life is meaningful – if not – every single thing you do is meaningless – a mere chasing after the wind.

Join me next Wednesday when we discuss Chapter 2 and the trap of seeking meaning in pleasure, wisdom and work.

Walk with the King!