Everything is meaningless.
The things I chase after for momentary satisfaction are meaningless. There’s a book in the Bible (Ecclesiastes) that points out almost every possible thing I could long for on this earth, and proves it to be a waste of time. Matt Chandler did a fantastic job at putting this chapter of the Bible into a modern-day perspective. I basically stole his entire book and crammed it into one single blog post.
We pursue this satisfaction from day one…from the second we are born, we seek our own happiness…we pop out snapping our fingers for satisfaction, and we never really stop. [The Explicit Gospel, ch. 6]
Solomon was gifted wisdom from God. I know smart people; I consider myself to be decently intelligent. But if God Himself is shoving some of his eternal wisdom onto someone, you know it is going to be good. God bestowed wisdom on Solomon, and he experimented by trying to find worldly satisfaction (spoiler alert: he doesn’t). If God gave him such great wisdom, and he couldn’t manage to find anything that kept his eternal longings at bay…why the H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS (anyone remember saying that?) do I think I could?
With my less-than-eternal wisdom, I went on that same pursuit for worldly satisfaction and pleasure. Only, because I lack eternal wisdom, I let the worldly pleasures cloud my mind and soul. What started out as a “Solomon experiment” slowly turned into me stumbling down a dark, sinful path. Sin is confusing; it is so enticing, it seems okay, it quickly entangles, and it’s very hard to leave. In fact, some people never do. They become so clouded that they’ve convinced themselves that this life of sin is as good as it gets. When that one particular sin loses it’s flair, you simply move on to the next. This was me.
All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. [Ecclesiastes 1:8-9]
The pain of God ripping sin from your soul is ecrutiating, depending on how deeply rooted it is. UNLIKE Solomon, I have managed to convince myself that I need this sin, I love this sin. This sin gives me life, purpose, meaning. These lies have filled my heart and overflowed into my actions. God, holding fast to his promise in Romans 8 (verses 37-39), comes to me and reminds me, “Ahem, you are mine, remember? Nothing can separate you from me. Not even your selfishness.”
He does this, time and time again. Yet, for some reason, I think I know better. I think I have found the secret to happiness. I am proud, to the point where when friends try to point out my sin I accuse them of being judgmental. “They don’t know me, they don’t know what I’ve been through!” When you walk through years and years of sin, it becomes this thick quicksand that you cannot escape. All that is sticking out at this point is my head, and I’m still, for some reason, refusing to take the hands of those trying to help. Instead of grabbing their hands and being pulled to safety, I am complaining that God won’t save me, help me, or give me answers. It literally makes no sense.
I’ve never been pulled out of actual quicksand, but I assume that it would be a strange feeling. If I really was stuck up to my neck in quicksand, I would have zero mobility. My arms and legs would be so weak and useless. My skin would probably be raw. I imagine that if someone grabbed me by my hair and yanked my entire body out of the quicksand, it would HURT. I may even break a few bones. But, I would be alive. I would have the opportunity to heal. One day, my body would no longer look beaten and bruised and ripped apart.
God has been gracious enough to rip me out of sin. It hurts. It is painful. I cry a lot. But I have been given the chance to heal. I lay on my back, broken bones, ripped clothes, and feel disgusting. I don’t want God to see me like this. It’s embarrassing, because He knew all along it would come to this. Yet all he can do when he looks at me is smile and say, “welcome home.”
I killed Jesus. I took his hand in mine, and held it tightly to the cross as I banged a nail into it. I slammed a crown of thorns onto his head. I stabbed his side with a sword and watched his organs pour out of his body. I did that. The result of my pleasure seeking, selfish sin was Jesus Christ dying on the cross. Some may argue and say that God shouldn’t be that harsh, or that God wouldn’t In fact, we worship a God that is so powerful and mighty, that merely taking his name in vain is disgusting enough that Jesus had to die on the cross (thank you, Matt Chandler, for that beautiful realization). Can you imagine? No one is that good. Why am I not worshipping that God with everything in me?
Everything is meaningless. Every single thing that I look to for satisfaction or pleasure will lead me into a pit of despair. If not now, in Hell…for eternity. Of all the things I could dream of doing, I don’t think any of them are worth the ability to experience eternal joy with Christ.