Meaningless! Quite the assessment on life coming from a man who had it all. Solomon lacked for nothing. Wealth, position, wives (lots of them), legacy. The mention of his name was synonymous with wisdom. But in the end, none of it mattered….
No one knew the emptiness of life without God more than Solomon.
Contrast this with his father, David. Although David had likewise known the good life, he’d also experienced some pretty dark pits of despair. And David arrived at a completely different conclusion about man’s existence. “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay” (Psalm 16:9-10). David remained positive because he knew this present life—whether saturated with pleasure or pain—held meaning because of something beyond it. He understood that this life was not “all there is.”
In a culture where the hunt for significance rests on the acquisition of knowledge, wealth, status and every creature comfort imaginable, the thought of meaning coming from something beyond the tangible here and now seems almost blasphemous. But if we hope to find contentment in life it is necessary, as author Mark Buchannan words it, to “aim past” the present of what we see. To put our focus on the only goal that makes sense out of everything else….
The light of eternity shines into everything that happens on the earth and places it in the big picture. It helps us hold our failures as well as our successes loosely. It assures us we are being prepared for something far greater. Eternity teaches us how to handle the accolades of some, the rejection of others. It fills the mundane with purpose. It keeps us humble. It protects us from the bankruptcy of overspent souls. It counters the cry of Meaningless with Meaningful.
You and I were made to live forever. We’re in training for it this very day. Whatever we are going through right now…is it meaningless? Not by a long shot.
A very long shot.