Spiritual Director · July 10, 2017

Devote #57

So I started reading the book of Ecclesiastes today. I read chapters 1-4. It’s a great book, written by King Solomon – a very wise man. In it you can tell he’s on a mission – to find the meaning of life. And at first when you start reading this book of the Bible you start with a very gloomy outlook. He tells us life is boring and “as senseless as chasing the wind.” As a matter of fact, he uses that phrase, “as senseless as chasing the wind,” six times in the first four chapters.

In this book of the Bile, King Solomon looks at one area of life after another, trying to find the meaning and purpose of life. But even the wisest man comes to the conclusion, we as humans will never fully grasp or comprehend the meaning and purpose of life. In other words, asking the question, “What’s the purpose of life?” is “as senseless as chasing the wind.” You’ll never come to a concrete answer. You’ll never totally understand it.

Now, that could be very depressing for some. It almost leaves us lifeless – what’s the use then? If we can’t figure out the purpose and meaning of life, why go any further. Let’s just stop while we’re ahead and call it even. Why waste all our time, energy and resources on something we can’t fathom?

But Solomon does tell us what we’re supposed to be doing. Read this…
“What do we gain by all of our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. I know the best thing we can do is always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do. Everything God has done will last forever; nothing He does can ever be changed. God has done all this, so that we will worship Him.” Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 CEV

Did you catch that? All this stuff, the things in this life happen, so that we will worship God. That’s our meaning and purpose in life – to worship our Creator and Redeemer. To honor Him and praise Him for all we have and for all we don’t have.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Many times we get so far off track that it’s hard for us to find our way back home. The simplest way for me to say this is: Your and mine meaning and purpose in life is to worship God! All the other “stuff” of life… money, jobs, homes, cars, are just stuff. But He is real and deserving of our praise and adoration.

I praise You, I worship You. I adore You. You truly are my all in all. Jesus it’s in Your name I pray this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.