Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” – Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 (NIV)
A few days ago, I was listening to a podcast of a radio show called “Back To The Bible”. Have you ever heard it ? It’s hosted by Dr. Woodrow Kroll. I think Dr. Kroll is an excellent teacher of God’s Word and he’s currently doing a daily study on the book of Ephesians that’s going to last for about eight weeks (!). He was discussing the “roads” we take to try to connect with God and he gave a real good example of that. If you’re driving up and down I-95 on the East Coast, you can travel all the way from Florida to Maine. There may be interesting stops along the way and many places to visit. But you can’t get to Los Angeles traveling on I-95. And if you’re trying to get to LA, no matter what you do, you can’t get there on this highway. That also reminded me of something I heard the motivational speaker Tony Robbins say once….that many people spend their lives chasing the sunset, but they run towards the east looking for it.
Although Dr. Kroll was using his example in regards to the book of Ephesians, I immediately thought of Ecclesiastes when he said it. I just finished Ecclesiastes about a week ago and have been listening to it on CD since then to review it. The Teacher in Ecclesiastes (Solomon ?) gave many examples himself of the different roads he traveled throughout his life “under the sun”, as he put it. Some roads were in search of wisdom, acquiring wealth, enjoying great pleasures of life – “eat and drink and be glad” (8:15, NIV). And even hard work. But all of these journeys are ultimately “meaningless”, says the Teacher. Unless we spend the short time that we are all here pursuing God, knowing and having a relationship with Him, and making it first and foremost in our life, all of these roads eventually just lead to emptiness. This is something that unfortunately took me a long time to realize in my own life.
I think Ecclesiastes is a great wakeup call for us. It challenges you to ask yourself, “Is this really worth pursuing ?” “Should I really be spending my valuable time doing this or worrying about that ?” And most importantly, “Where does God fit in with all of this ?” The book of Ecclesiastes a reminder for us to stop, get some perspective, and put God in His proper place in our lives. And to remember Him while we’re out trying frantically to get a promotion, pursuing a degree, or anything really.
Otherwise, as the Teacher explains, we’re ultimately just “chasing the wind”.
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, NIV)