Life with all of its seasons and setbacks can really take us for a ride, have us spinning out of control and throwing-up on the inside. Living in this world of hatred, oppression, injustice, and deception–have you ever just raised your fists to the wind and cried out, “What’s it all about, Abba?”
Come now, warm your hands over the fire of life. The Most High has been waiting for you. He knew you would ask. And, he has the answer for you to discover. Let’s take a walk through the scroll of what modern men call Ecclesiates (a Latin transliteration of the assigned Greek). The original name of the book in Hebrew is . . . Qoheleth, meaning Preacher, ‘The guy who had something to say’ . . . speaker to the assembly.
Break open the Tanach to Qoheleth (Ecclesiaste). Sit down, read it. Listen to it. Study it. Meditate on it. Spend some time with Shaloma (Solomon), the wisest man in the world, ever (but perhaps not always the smartest). Shaloma wrote this essay at a time when he got clarity (and then he lost it after that). He sought out the answers to the very same questions and he can save you some time in figuring it out for yourself.
What is the Point of Life?
You will find that Shaloma gives a sermon, so to speak, on eight musings having to do with the meaning of life and the best way to live it, and he adds an overlay of wonderful proverbial sayings. Tried and true, he explores it all out for himself. He realizes, there is a lot going on out there. He lays it out simply. He states a problem and then he draws a conclusion with insightful comments. He sets out on a journey of his body, heart and mind to learn all about the nuts and bolts of life. He then shares his compelling thoughts and sayings, but the real value comes at the end when YAH speaks.
Life Under the Sun
That’s what Shaloma calls it. Life in the here and now. That’s it. Kapish. Fini. You live and you die. You have no thought of tomorrow and no greater hope beyond this existence. You do things your way. Everything you do, you can do it all for the glory of self. You keep your blinders on and walk the way of the world. There’s no real meaning to what you go through. Things happen. C’est la vie. It’s all purposeless. The sun rises, it sets. Tomorrow, guess what, you’re going to wake up and do it all again.
Ah, for the love of drudgery. You keep up with what’s new and quickly find, there’s nothing new about it. Science, technology, doctors, they all are trying to figure it out, just like you. None of them have the answers–or at least they say they do, until they don’t. It is a never-ending quest. There is no end to the books written on the matter of the meaning of life. And, guess what? You’re not going to find the answer because, under the sun, there is no answer. In and of itself, life on earth is meaningless. Left to its own, under the sun, life means nothing.
The world defines life by doing. Doing more, faster, better(!) Shaloma experiments with the three following affirmations:
- WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE: He sought self-affirmation through gaining practical knowledge and wisdom. Just like Shaloma, you might have an inquiring mind. You want to know. You need to know. Maybe you’re a ‘Miss Know It All’, an internet queen. You know something about everything that’s going on in the world. You score the internet daily to stay abreast. You wow others with your capacity to hold so much information inside that little head of yours. Ah, yes, the wise one, and yet, all that information just makes you . . . feel bad. You know why? Because you know a lot more than you can do anything about.
- PLEASURE: And then, Shaloma experimented with everything that could possibly bring him pleasure in this world. You might be that ‘Pell Mell Gal’, the woman who throws it all to the wind. You live for pleasure. You live for the feeling. If it feels good, you do it. Hey, it must be right ’cause it feels so good. Every day is a party. Life is one stroke of pleasure after another . . . drinking, drugs, sex, working-out . . . wine and folly. So many highs, so many lows. You get wasted and you bounce right back! You’re fast. You’re on fire. Until one day you find out that that good feeling has no relevance. In order to drown out the numbness, you give pleasure another go’round . . . again . . . and again, and (this is getting tiring) again . . . until you just burn out.
- ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Shaloma even tried living an accomplished life, all for his own glory. Perhaps you define yourself by your accomplishments. You are the icon of success and you have all the possessions to prove it. Pedigrees, trophies, properties . . . You have bought into everything the world says you should have–and more. You don’t even have to open your mouth. The mere sight of you screams, “Look! See here! See what I have! Look what I have done!” And then, something happens. You realize that stuff under the sun ain’t eternal. Your accomplishments lose their luster. Everything gets old. Everything is constantly changing. Everything done under the sun will be destroyed or rebuilt. Whatever used to be will be replaced by ‘man’ who comes after, or reclaimed by nature. All will be forgotten.
When life is just about what you’ve done it is bitter and hard. The wise man and the idiot meet the same end. They both will die and they both will be forgotten. There is no lasting memory of either of them. The foolish person will fold his hands and waste away and the wise man will die, aware. You only last until you’re dead. After two generations, pretty much, you will not be remembered at all. In and of itself, when life is about everything you have done, it doesn’t mean a thing.
“If you don’t have an agenda beyond this world, the unfairness of this world will crush you.” —Dr. Randall D. Smith
Life Beyond the Sun
Beyond this earthly existence, there is meaning. But don’t take my word for it. Read the experiences of Shaloma. Indeed, the Most High has a purpose for your life and your work. There is a season to all things. Everything you do (in him) makes sense. There is a higher call on your life, beyond all earthly understanding. And, guess what? What you accomplish in him will last forever. Everything you do will have a greater purpose in a higher realm.
The Most High wants to walk with you . . . he wants time with you . . . he wants a relationship. There’s a lot of women out there having a relationship with a book or a religious ideal. That’s not what he’s talking about. The Most High is too long, too wide, too deep, too high to be boxed into the puny confines of a religion. He is all powerful. He’s bigger than the elephant. All of the world religions together as one could not hold or lay claim to defining him, or his glory. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are above our own. He just desires us to live and abide in him. The truth will speak for itself, by the fruits you produce.
We were born broken. No matter what we do, we’re not going to make what’s crooked in this world, straight. We can join all the well-meaning groups and coalitions to combat poverty, hunger, sex trafficking, abuse (the list goes on and on). We can go on missions sponsored by said churches and organizations. And yes, these are all good causes to be part of and to help make a difference. Be that difference. Accept your years as the Most High’s gift and work hard. But know, with all of our greatest effort, we cannot bring an end to the sin. The only way to resolve the evil of the earth is to understand that the Most High will deal with everyone and everything. Until then, yes, it will look like bad people are getting ahead.
The Finish Line
Remember now thy Creator . . .
I’m not going to address everything Shaloma put forth, but you get the wealth of his pondering’s and I hope you are encouraged to really dig in and uncover the truths for yourself. Shaloma has done the ground work for us. Take time and learn from him. It is my hope you discover the wisdom and proverbial sayings of Shaloma as the means for a beautiful and well-lived life. The most beautiful part of Qoheleth, I have found, is in the closing Chapter 12. (YAH speaks)–but don’t jump to it just yet. It won’t mean a thing if you don’t get the learning.
We all have been given free will to choose for ourselves the path we are to take, to see things as we so desire. We can do it OUR way or YAH’s way. In everything, we can choose to learn by observation, or we can learn by experience. (Let me tell you, learning by example is so less painful.) Just know, the day of your birth is less important than the day of your death. It’s about how you cross the finish line. Forget how you came off the starting block, what you were born into . . . concentrate on how you’re going to finish.
Inside of each one of us, the Most High has put an inkling, a yearning for something more. Eternity is set in our hearts. Don’t think you know how things are all going to go. The Most High holds the future. There’s definitely more to life than what meets the eye. And I, I wouldn’t miss it for the world, literally.