Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Futile Treasures And Pleasures

Today I started reading Ecclesiastes, which left me feeling a bit depressed. I know the Lord included it in His Word for a reason, and consequently wants me to read it, but it certainly zaps me of inspiration. So perhaps you can regard this post as  a complaint against today's serving of manna.

I'd been feasting on Hebrews for a few days, really understanding it for the first time in my life, and I'd just finished chewing on Proverbs. After such rich fare, Solomon's protracted ruminations of life's futility put a bad taste in my mouth. Of course, when I reach the end of the book I'll realize that it teaches us to look beyond this life to the glories of eternity with Jesus.

Perhaps Ecclesiastes bothers me because my flesh stubbornly clings to the idea that this present life offers me something  substantial. Through Solomon's pessimistic words, the Holy Spirit refutes that misplaced hope by demonstrating that all our earthly treasures and pleasures eventually fade away. My flesh resists that truth.

Ecclesiastes reminds me of my two years in the nursing home. Each day, the nurses got us up, fed us, helped us rid our bodies of waste and (after a few hours) put us back to bed.  I at least had a job to go to...but most of the residents had nothing  but empty days of monotonous routine. The nursing staff dutifully kept them alive without giving their lives meaning.

Those of us outside nursing homes have various occupations and entertainments to distract us, but we really simply feed, relieve and rest our bodies with the same pointless monotony that engulfs people in those institutions. We have purpose only if the Lord directs our lives, using us to bring Him glory. Thankfully, those who know the joy of His salvation have all eternity to serve and worship Him for the wonders of Who He is!

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