Life is meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! In fact, everything in life is meaningless. I would have been a millionaire if l collected a penny for every time l hear this or times l have said it to myself. I can relate so much to King Solomon when he concluded that life is meaningless without Christ. The Bible tells us that King Solomon was the richest man who ever lived and also the wisest ever to live (1kings 4 vs 31) and yet all this will not make him the happiest man on the earth. Solomon searches for happiness as though he was conducting a scientific experiment and it was through this process he discovered that life without Christ is long and fruitless. He is a wise man and because of that he uses all his wisdom to create happiness and fulfilled life without Christ. It is easy to say that Solomon was not content and if you have a quarter of his money you will be so happy and be serving God. Look at where you are right now! Are you content with the fact that you have a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes, car and a job or a business? Are you happy with your spouse and your beautiful children? Or you are still waiting for more accomplishments to be more happier like Solomon. We need to remember that he did not start like that. He started well when he asked God for wisdom to rule and God also gave him what he did not ask for( 1 kings 3 vs 11) He gave him riches, wealth and honour and l am sure all this make him to believe he doesn’t need God anymore. Riches can make you arrogant and now added power to it, it can be a very dangerous combination in the hand of anyone without the fear of God. Life without Christ can be very empty and meaningless. Many times l will ask myself ” what is the purpose of life? When you are younger you will think maybe when you are older and free from your parent discipline and all kind of curfew you will be more happier, that’s why most of us will go to university way far from home and thinking we can be free to do whatever we want. My last born choose the University that was very far to the house and only to discover that the journey is not as pleasant and the freedom is not worth it. As for me, l left my country in pursuit of happiness and fulfilment of my dream and l realise life is not as easy as l thought and l have to work twice as hard to survive. So when we don’t find happiness at our younger age, we will then believe that when we find the job of our dream or a thriving business, then we will be happy but when that did not happen, then we believe when we are married we will be very happy, only to find out that our spouse will not bring us happiness and then we convinced ourselves that when we have children our life will be complete. That’s a new world entirely. You realize you have lost yourself and your sleep to raise your child. It’s not as easy as it looks. Some people got married and have children because of social status. They love to post pictures of a happy family on the social network but the truth is that they will never tell you the truth and the sacrifices of the picture they are posting. I know many couples that they are really struggling in their marriage and when you see their post they are the perfect family. Don’t ever base your happiness on what you see on your timeline. Most of this stuff is not real. I don’t need to post my life and my family life on my page every day to prove my happiness. Empty barren makes the louder noise.
No wonder many marriages are failing. We build our lives on a false appearance. We are looking for happiness in the wrong places. How come we don’t see many posts of trouble in paradise? You can fool the whole world but it will be a shame if you are fooling yourself too. I seriously believe my life will be more peaceful when my children are grown up and l can really be free and happier with my life, then l realise that with every step of life comes different challenges and responsibilities. When they are not at home l cannot sleep. I worried more about their choices in life and l realise l cannot help them or tell them what to do anymore. I can only advice them and above all pray that they will make the right decision. My oldest child is 28years old so you can imagine. I watch her grow into a woman and seeing her going through her own process of becoming the woman God has created her to be is very difficult. I can only trust God that the lessons and training her in a godly way will guide her. If you are a young parent, do all you can to raise your children in a godly way. The Bible says ” Start children off on the way they should go and when they are old they will not turn from it”( Proverbs 22 vs 6) l will always be grateful to my parent for teaching me the way of God. There are many lesson l learn as a mother that l believe it will help me to even be a great grandmother. But l have learnt to be happy at every step and journey of life. I want to enjoy the journey and not just the destination. You cannot keep postponing your happiness till the next big moves or grand opening. Have you ever wonder why is most common for rich people to commit suicide than poor people? Let’s see what the richest and wisest man in the world has to say about searching for happiness without Christ.
King Solomon conducted his search for life ’s meaning as an experiment. He undertook a great project, he tried pursuing pleasure, bought slaves and herbs and flocks, wealth, acquired singers, denied himself of nothing his eyes desired and refused his heart of no pleasure. He became the greatest person in Jerusalem and yet none of these gave him satisfaction. His conclusion was everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind, nothing was gained under the sun. So what that means is that money can not give you happiness? Money is good please don’t get me wrong, but it’s our messenger, not our master. A very wealthy actor in Hollywood committed suicide and his suicide note is just one line ” l am bored. I am checking out. This bothers me for so long that someone can take his life because he was bored and that describes the state of his mind. He has done everything possible to enjoy himself and only to realize all is vanity just like Solomon. But your life did not belong to you and you can not say because you have money you can control where you go when you die. Then you needs to read the story of a rich man and the beggar when they both died. The money of the rich man did not stop him from going to hell( Luke 16 vs 19-31)
Majority of people in this world can not afford to do all this thing Solomon did. We tried to fill our lives with so much junk in place of happiness from God. Solomon shows how empty it is to pursue the pleasures that this life has to offer rather than seek to have a relationship with the eternal God. The search for pleasure, wealth and success is ultimately disappointing. Nothing in this world can fill the emptiness and satisfy the deep longings in our restless hearts. I thought l was wise in my own eyes till l gave my life to Christ.
People are still searching. Yet the more they try to get, the more they realise how little they really have. No pleasures or happiness is possible without God. Without him, satisfaction is a lost search. Many people fill the emptiness with drugs and fake life and yet when all your friends are gone, you still feel the emptiness and depression. The cure for emptiness is to centre on God. The Bible says before you are formed in your mother’s womb he knew you. So God knows why he created you and how you can be fulfilled. God is the manufacturer of our lives. You cannot be driving Audi and you take it to Mercedes for repair. Let’s be realistic, how can it work?
Human wisdom doesn’t contain all the answers if the wisest man like Solomon still doesn’t have the answer, then you need to ask yourself why are you chasing after the wind? Knowledge and education have their limits. To understand life and make the right choices, we need the wisdom that can be found only in God ’s word – the Bible.
Solomon is a typical example of a man who has everything and yet still depressed. Most time when people are depressed or marriage breakdown, it always attached to financial constraints. This account of Solomon shows us that money does not necessarily bring happiness.
As a king, Solomon had everything a person could want but he says that he ”hated life” what happened? He realized that he must leave everything to the one who comes after him, and who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish. Most time a person labour with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This is so meaningless. I am sure you have heard many stories of a rich man that died and soon after all his possession is gone because the children and relatives cannot keep up the business. When you think about life and how someone works so hard and die young, it makes life meaningless.
Solomon said some very provoking words in the book of Ecclesiastes that will make you pause and think. How can he say ” The day of death is better than the day of birth, it is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone? ( Ecclesiastes 7 vs 1-4) I say it all time that people should not spend too much money on a naming ceremony, l know its a good occasion, but see how many children are ruthless and sometimes grow up to be a serial killer and notorious criminal and yet we celebrated their naming, but someone that died, you can celebrate his or her life and all the contribution in their lifetimes. Many people avoid thinking about death, refuse to face it and are reluctant to attend funerals, but Solomon encourages us to attend funerals so that we can think clearly about death. We need to remind ourselves that we still have time to change, time to examine the direction of our lives and time to confess our sins and find forgiveness from God. Because everyone will eventually die, it makes sense to plan ahead to experience God’s mercy rather than his Justice. The Bible says ” what profit a man to gain the whole world and lost his soul.
We are strangers in this world and we should always keep it at the back of our mind that we will eventually go back home. We are all tourists, God is our travel agent who has already fixed our itineraries, and reservations and destinations.
Whether you are rich or poor, you will die one day. That is why it makes sense to secure our final place which is in heaven than struggle so much to have wealth and riches here on earth and then leave everything behind to strangers or family that care less about you. Solomon observes that those who spend their lives obsessively seeking after money never find happiness it promises. Wealth also causes sleepless nights and fear and ultimately ends in loss because it must be left behind. Some rich people are so ruthless and lack fear of God because they have forgotten this truth. Nobody will take anything back to heaven. This truth should humble us every time you think you are better than anyone. We have seen many celebrities died and their money and fame cannot help them. Some of us have turned them to mini God and we are heartbroken when they died and care less for your own family. Our lives and possession are gifts from God.
No one has power over the time of their death. Let us be real, most time we will be at a funeral and you will hear how people are talking so nice about someone you know they are very wicked and if they don’t have a chance to repent, they are in hell and yet people are saying they are resting in heaven. Solomon said in ( Ecclesiastes 8 vs 9) There is a time when a man lords over others to his own hurt, then too l saw the wicked buried -those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise in the city where they did this) This verse refers to how we quickly forget the evil done by some people after they have died, returning from the cemetery, we praise them. This too is meaningless. There are many things we do as a human that does not make sense. You killed someone and you have forgotten that one day you too will die. It’s a shame for someone that take somebody ’s life when they died.
In his conclusion, Solomon shows us that we should enjoy life, but this does not exempt us from obeying God’s Commands. We should search for purpose and meaning in life, but they can not be found in human endeavours. We should acknowledge the evil, foolishness and injustice in life, yet maintain a positive attitude and strong faith in God. All people will have to stand before God and be judged for what they did in this life. We will not be able to use life’s inconsistencies as an excuse for failing to live properly
To live properly, we need to recognize that human effort apart from God is futile. Put God first now and receive everything as a gift from God. Realise God will judge both evil and good. Now all has been heard, let us stop chasing after the wind. Don’t spend your life striving for the very enjoyment that God gives freely.