I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
everything was meaningless, a chasing
after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
God Most High, You are supreme over all the earth; exalted far above all gods.
Thank You for the lessons we can learn from the wise King Solomon. He had it all - power, authority, prestige, money, success, wisdom, and knowledge - but in the end, it was all proven meaningless.
Lord, we too have passionately pursued pleasures - often denying ourselves nothing our eyes desired. Cheered by the wine of wealth, we've invested in folly by undertaking big projects: building extravagant homes, acquiring expensive treasures, and amassing a mountain of money. We've hired help and gone on exquisite excursions - refusing our hearts few pleasures.
Many of us enjoyed working hard with the wisdom, knowledge, and skill You gave us. We're thankful for the rich rewards we've received for our efforts. However, when tragedy strikes, we quickly realize the futility of our accomplishments. In a heart beat it could all be gone. A hurricane could destroy it. A fire could burn it. An earthquake could shatter it. Sickness could render it useless. An accident could end it all. A lawsuit could consume it. And, the stock market could crash it. In the end our work could be as pointless as chasing the wind or catching a cloud! Nothing would be gained from it.
Help me, O Lord who sees everything from the high and heavenly throne, to live my life on purpose in the present. I don't want to look back some day and realize that I've wasted it on empty activities. Show me what's important to You, and I will invest my time, talent, and treasure in it in order to gain everything under the Son. Amen.
What pleasures and treasures are you pursuing? If disaster were to strike you today, how would you respond to the loss of them?
In light of the incredible loss from the financial crisis in our nation, and the world, I encourage you to seek and understand the true meaning of life. Read, reflect and respond to Ecclesiastes.