Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Jeff and I are always chasing things. We both love to chase sunrises and sunsets. I’ve probably taken thousands of photos trying to capture the beauty but have failed in comparison to the real thing. We love chasing waterfalls and fall leaves. We got married under a waterfall, and we’ve been chasing waterfalls ever since. We have seen pretty much every waterfall there is to see in the Smoky Mountains. We’ve flown to the New England states, rented a car, and chased waterfalls in that area, and a few years ago, we tried to see every single waterfall in the state of Washington and a few in Oregon while on a trip to the Northwest. Those were some magnificent sites, but my favorite waterfall of all is Rio Celeste in Costa Rica. I’m sharing a photo of this one today. It is quite magnificent.
We have chased a lot of things in our day. Besides the sunsets, sunrises, waterfalls, and fall leaves, we have chased the everyday things like children, dogs, goats, sheep, and pigs. I’ve even chased a pig while in my Sunday dress and high heels. We’ve chased all kinds of critters, and we’ve chased dreams…many dreams. As we’ve grown older, and closer to Jesus, we’ve experienced a new chase. We’re trying to get better about chasing Jesus and things of Christ because we have slowly come to the realization that all the things we are chasing were all created by Him. If we don’t recognize His glory in all of it, we are missing the BIG picture.
In Ecclesiastes chapter 2, King Solomon wrote his memoirs, and in his old age, he recognized that he had chased a whole lot of emptiness in his lifetime. He considered the meaning of life in these memoirs, and basically took an inventory of his days. King Solomon lived life to the fullest. He actually overdid things. He inherited a whole kingdom from his father David, and he was wise enough to ask God for wisdom. God was so pleased with this request that He not only granted Solomon with immense wisdom, He also gave him much wealth. He was likely worth about $100 billion by today’s standards. That dude showed very little restraint. He married 700 women and had 300 concubines. (Can you even imagine trying to keep up with 1000 women? LOL)
Basically, Solomon had every single thing that his heart desired. Take some time and read the entire chapter of Ecclesiastes chapter 2. Solomon completed an inventory of his days. He said that laughter is madness, and pleasure accomplishes nothing. He told us that he tried wine, took on great projects, bought servants, amassed great fortunes, and became greater than anyone in all of Jerusalem and probably the earth. He chased it all and acquired a plenty, but King Solomon came to the end of his days realizing that even good things like wisdom, hard work, wealth, pleasure, and diligence, apart from God, will only leave us in despair. He said, “This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
King Solomon gives us a narrative in Ecclesiastes of a fallen world. He acknowledges that the temporal pleasures are just that . They are temporary. Our hope and pleasure comes from things eternal. If we look around right now, we could probably write a pretty detailed narrative of a fallen world once again. But this is not the end! Oh yes, we may be nearing the end of days on this earth, but it is not the end. We can live in hope and with great confidence because it is not finished yet. About nine hundred and some odd years after Solomon penned these words, Jesus came to earth. He came and walked as fully man and fully God, and He eventually was crucified for the sins of us all so that we may have everlasting life. He came to give our lives meaning, and through His resurrection we have been given the confidence of salvation, eternal life, and a promise of a future…a future that can not compare to anything we have seen or chased thus far.
I’m going to keep on chasing kids, critters, sunsets, fall leaves, and waterfalls because I see the beauty of our Creator in each of these things, but I can’t focus on chasing the things of this earth. I love those things because God gave me eyes to see them and a mind to enjoy them, but He gave me a heart for Jesus. We can’t go chasing waterfalls if we aren’t chasing the One who created them. Although I appreciate and love the beauty I see with my eyes, I’m going to keep running after and chasing the unseen that fills my heart…Jesus Christ! Without Him, I am nothing. I have nothing. With Him, I have EVERYTHING. So I ask, who or what are you chasing today?