Yesterday I was reading in Ecclesiastes. Ah, the wisdom of Solomon.
I am struck by this passage in Ecclesiastes 2:
I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house.
I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.
I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.
I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart.
I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me.
In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
Isn’t that what this world is all about?
Being busy trying to acquire things.
Building house, planting vineyards. Owning more things.
This passage states that He denied himself nothing because this was the reward for his labor.
Yet, in the end it was meaningless.
Chasing after the wind.
We can feel the wind.
We can feel it as it blows by.
Yet we can not hold onto it.
We can not grasp it. We can not keep it.
Isn’t that what we often do though?
We chase after things of this world.
The need for more stuff; the need for more busyness.
Yet, those things are like chasing the wind. Ultimately at the end of our life, we hold onto none of it.
What do we hold onto?
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
You see, wanting things, and enjoying things in this life isn’t bad in itself. We should enjoy the fruits of our labor.
But are we placing stock in those things to make us happy? Are we relying on pursuing things in the hopes that we will find satisfaction with them?
I used to feel like if I had just the right house it would make me happy. Over time I have come to love my house just the way it is. Material things to me aren’t that important anymore. I don’t fix my eyes on them. I enjoy my home, it is my comfort, and my sanctuary. But I do not hold onto it, because ultimately I can’t.
Like chasing the wind.
This is why I want to simplify. When I rid my life of the extras, I can stop chasing the wind and I can fix my eyes on the unseen things that are ultimately what I can hold onto for eternity.
I fix my eyes on praying. On filling up on His Word.
The more I pursue Him, the more I want to chase Him.
Not the wind.
Serving God, loving people, living in His will. Those are things I want to pursue. The things that don’t pretend to satisfy. The things that do ultimately…satisfy my soul.
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