Ecclesiastes is a great book for our time. One of the main issues that it addresses is finding meaning in life. We will join Solomon as he tries to discover meaning and purpose. In our reading today he will look in the very same places that we as a culture look and will learn that without God life is "meaningless".
One of the places Solomon looks to for meaning is education. This is the equivalent of someone thinking that if only they can graduate from an Ivy League school then they will have a sense of purpose, meaning and value in their life. He also looks to pleasure (i.e. sex, entertainment, alcohol etc.) and accomplishments for meaning. It is not hard for us to see that our world is filled with people just like Solomon. We may think that if only I can fill my life with happiness, if only I get a promotion, if only...then I will feel satisfied and have a sense of meaning. There will always be a sense of -if only- in our lives. It is easy to think that changed circumstances will lead to a changed sense of meaning in our lives. Yet Solomon was able to try every pursuit to the nth degree and still found them wanting. As we will see at the end of the book, only God can give meaning and purpose to our lives.
Question of the day: What pursuits (other than God) do you use to try to provide meaning in life?
Father God, thank you that you give me purpose. Thank you that I am your child and have value and dignity apart from what I accomplish. Help me to look to you to for life and meaning, rather than the shallow things the world offers. Amen.