Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 (NIV)
Everything Is Meaningless
1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: 2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.” 3 What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. 5 The sun rises and the sunsets and hurries back to where it rises. 6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. 7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place, the streams come from, there they return again. 8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. 9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. 11 No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.
What areas of life do you take too seriously?
Days go by quickly, they turn into weeks, into months, and into years. The sun rises and then it sets and then it is another day. As I age, I have changed my perspective on how I spend my time and what is important in life. Vanity is one of them. I can’t even estimate the amount of time, effort, and money that I have spent over the years for treatments, ointments, supplies, products, clothes, or diet programs to make me look younger, thinner, and more attractive. I was motivated to look the part as I worked on climbing higher and higher on the corporate ladder. I was successful in many positions, worked hard, and poured myself into my jobs at the expense of my kids, my family, and my faith. I am thankful for what I have achieved and how many blessings I have accumulated over the years, but in the end, I don’t even remember most of the issues that kept me up at night, don’t remember the names of most of the people who I tried to impress and I regret forfeiting so much time with my family due to traveling and late-night meetings. I am so very thankful that I had the ability to get jobs, had opportunities to use my skills and to accumulate many blessings, but in the end, they didn’t achieve happiness. I have learned that real beauty is from within, and aging will still come no matter what you do. I have learned that anxiety can rob the enjoyment out of life. I have learned that You, family, and people are far more important than position, power, and money. I have learned that integrity, character, and generosity are my greatest assets. I have learned that the sun rises and sets after achievements, after losses, after healthy days, and sick days. In the end, what matters is my faith in You. Lord help me to see the blessings of today and not chase after shiny new things that could potentially make me happy tomorrow. Help me to be content and joyful in You and not in things. Let me be beautiful in Your eyes. Allow Your love to shine true beauty from my heart as it overflows to loving others. Help me see the opportunities of each day to bless you, my family, and others to make each day meaningful. Thank You for today and each day. Today is the day that You have made and I will rejoice and be glad in it! Amen