"Everything is meaningless."
Well...there's that. That's a great way to start off a pastoral blog, isn't it?
The book of Ecclesiastes is not something we talk about much. Honestly, the only time I've spent much time in it is to prepare for a funeral, specifically Chapter 3. You've heard it before. Either in a service or in The Byrds song from the 1950's. "To everything, turn, turn, turn..."
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." ~Ecclesiastes 3:1
But the way The Teacher starts his meandering, meditative journal is this:
"MEANINGLESS! MEANINGLESS!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." ~Ecclesiastes 1:2
Makes you want to read on, doesn't it?
Have you ever felt this way? That everything is pointless? Meaningless? That no matter what you do, you can't get ahead? That no matter how much you argue until you're blue in the face, you won't change the mind of your friend on who they should be voting for? That when someone posts something on Facebook that commenting on the thread will only bring you more frustration and heartache?
Yeah...that's me today.
It doesn't matter who I voted for (after all, I was always told to "vote early and vote often"), but there are people who I trust, people who I look up to and I just don't understand how they see things so differently from me. If I'm being honest with myself, it actually makes me think, "what if I'm wrong?"
Does that happen to anyone else? I mean...I'm willing to be wrong, but what do I believe what I do? Why do you believe what you do?
And then it dawns on me...maybe we're all wrong.
I want to share something with you from my Wesley Study Bible.
"Sometimes we live for the wrong reasons and pursue the wrong things. We try to get all we can and can fade when God is kept on the outskirts of our lives. Without God, things have no meaning and cannot fill the void in our lives. When we give up our pursuits of happiness and seek the kingdom, we discover the full meaning of life. Giving up what we want and giving in to what God wants leads us to a fulfilling, meaningful, and purposeful life."
Everything is meaningless...WITHOUT GOD.
There have been so many times when I have come to a point where the anxiety is just so strong. When I think about our country and the unrest; the uneasiness. It seems like the closer we get to November 3, the worse it gets. Then I think, all that junk...what's the point of being anxious about it?
Do I have control over it? Do I have the ability to change it?
But I do have the ability to focus on God and seek him in all that I do. I do have the ability to preach the gospel and train people how to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
See how meaningless it all is?
This idea of "everything" being meaningless isn't really a bad or depressing thing. It is a reminder that: "[We] do not belong to this world, just as [He] does not belong to this world."
Today, let us focus solely on God. Let us make this life meaningful by putting God on the throne of our hearts.
Let us Pray,
O God, you Good and your steadfast love endures forever. Help us to be people who focus entirely on you; for without you, everything is meaningless. Give us the strength to get through these next couple weeks that are filled with anxiety and stress. Be with our president and vice president; be with our senators and representatives at all levels of government. We also pray for Presidential Candidate, Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris. We ask, Father, for your will to be done, that all of our public servants be protected Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Help us to remember that you are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Glory of God the Father we pray.