Everything is meaningless.
Wow, what a way to start something off, right?
That’s how the author of Ecclesiastes, said to be Solomon, starts the book off with.
Talk about a man who wants to cut right to the chase without even beginning with any sort of formalities!
But this is what he chooses to start off with. As the man who is considered to be the wisest man to have ever lived, I think it would be worthwhile to take a deeper look into what he’s meaning by this.
Throughout the entirety of the book, Solomon explains his frustrations on how people work away, stocking things up and such, when nothing on this earth will last. He knew this firsthand for himself. He explains the emptiness of pleasure and possessions as well as personal achievements and success.
“When I considered all that I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11)
Way to be an inspiration, Solomon.
For real though, I think he was on to something.
How many of us in our own lives do the same thing? We chase happiness and satisfaction and some sort of purpose in this life on our own, but what it really turns out to be is just chasing the wind: unobtainable and not lasting.
So be honest with yourself as I ask this question: how many times do you try to find happiness on your own?
Whether it be through following your own dreams and desires, wealth, desire of wisdom and knowledge, accomplishments and success, pleasure, material things, or social status. Maybe you often say to yourself, “I’ll finally be happy when …”
If that’s you, friend, you aren’t alone. Solomon, like many people today, struggled with the same issue. He, too, searched for happiness, but he concluded that searching for this was meaningless as long as it depended on his circumstances, possessions, or achievements.
The things I listed above, they can’t satisfy us. Once we obtain them we might have happiness for a moment, but then we will be left searching again when the “high” comes down.
Struggling along like this will put you in a frustrating and disappointing cycle that’s led by circumstances and emotions that are constantly changing.
But let me tell you, when you place your need for happiness and contentment in the hands of God, the search can stop. The endless, frustrating cycle can stop.
Why? Because our God is constant and unmoving, so when we find happiness in Him, we don’t ever have to search for it again. He’s a never-changing God — the same yesterday, today, and forever. So while our circumstances change, our God remains the same.
When we choose to fulfill our need for happiness, purpose, and satisfaction in God, we will find a fullness that we won’t find anywhere else — and let me tell you, friend… it will most definitely be a lasting one.
Think about it for a moment.
When we die, we can’t take our accomplishments and possessions with us — hence Solomon’s “everything is meaningless.” But when we place those things and find our purpose in God, it all truly has meaning.
So today, place your dreams, desires, and aspirations as well as your desire for happiness in the hands of God and follow the plan He has planned for your life. Turn away from pursuing the wind and instead pursue the heart of God, and watch how your life will flourish with meaning and purpose in every step because of it.
Catch ya later, my friends.
An adventurer and coffee enthusiast at heart, Caleigh Ball has a passion for reaching out to others to inspire them to live with intention and purpose. As an ordained minister, she spends her time ministering as a youth pastor and is actively involved in Arise Ministries as the vice president and bookkeeper as well as one of the ministers. She enjoys life with her husband, Emmanuel, and their cat, Alaska, in their home state, Almost Heaven West Virginia.
Find Caleigh on Instagram at @caleigh.ball