Should life really be seen as meaningless? Or are people being a bit dramatic when they use the word meaningless to describe life? To be honest, I myself see life as being meaningless. Sure you might think it’s a big statement to make but after we take a look at Ecclesiastes you will see why life is meaningless.
To give you a brief summary of the book Ecclesiastes. There are two voices you will hear in Ecclesiastes, the story is told by a teacher, then you also hear another voice in the book which is the author. Nobody knows exactly who the author of Ecclesiastes is, but the guess has always been Solomon. However, his name was never stated in the book so it isn’t for sure. The theme of the book is the search for life’s meaning. When I first started to read Ecclesiastes, I assumed the teacher was depressed. I didn’t really understand why he kept calling life, “meaningless.” Then as I continued to read further, I started to wrap my head around what he was trying to say.
He started the book with, “Meaningless! Meaningless! “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” The Ecclesiastes writer seemed to have gotten to a “so what” moment in his life where he thinks life is meaningless and the things in it as well. To me when I think of the word meaningless, I think of empty or worthless. The critic pretty much feels like we are constantly running on this treadmill and it never stops. Life continues to repeat itself. “All streams flow into the sea yet the sea is never full.” He says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11) There is nothing new in this world; the water gets recycled into the ocean and it just keeps on going. Kind of like the treadmill, the track that is connected to the treadmill constantly makes its way back around.
Everything in this world is constantly being repeated. So, what is the point in even trying to keep up?
Could this critic be right? Is life really meaningless? If so, what makes life so meaningless? Do you think we care too much about the wrong things in this world? I feel like often I get too caught up in trying to prove myself to others or even keeping up with the trends. These are all things that aren’t going to the grave with us, so why do we care so much about them?
In chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes the teacher goes into talking about how there’s a time for everything. This chapter has to be my favorite one because it starts to dive deeper into why life can be meaningless. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born again and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal… (Ecclesiastes 3:1-15).” Each and every activity has a proper time ordained by God. There are three things about time I heard a pastor say, time cannot be stored, time can’t be saved, and if your clock doesn’t work time keeps going. God is timeless, meaning he has the ability to put us on a time frame. Now, you’re probably wondering if God is timeless how come we are put on a time frame? To answer your question, because He’s God. He is the beginning and the end, he had no creation so he can’t be held to that standard. We, however, had a beginning and a creation so, we by logic have to have an end. When we are given time we are meant to do something in a timeframe whether it’s our work or our hobbies and it’s no different with God. But what does that mean for us? That means we need to figure out what we need to do in this time right now. God only assigns time when we have a purpose, which means we need to figure out what our purpose is, so we aren’t wasting the time God is giving us.
But the big question here is how does this relate to chapter one on how life is meaningless? Jumping Straight to the end of Ecclesiastes the author brings it all together. He talks about how life is meaningless without God. If God isn’t involved and if we forget and fail to serve God while we are here on earth, life starts to become meaningless. The conclusion of it all is to fear God and keep his commandments, what we do now on earth will be brought into judgement. (Ecclesiastes 12:1-14)
So, live your life with purpose. Since our time here is so temporary, ask God what your purpose is so you are able to fulfill it. We have to remember that life isn’t just about temporary pleasures, it’s about fulfilling our purpose. If we don’t find a way to fulfill our purpose what is the point? We aren’t here to live for ourselves, it’s not about us. We’re here to please and live for Christ.
I remember at one point in my life, I used to struggle with focusing on me, me, me. Nothing was about God, I started to live for just Jada and not God. I didn’t know what my purpose was, and I also didn’t focus on trying to bring people to Christ. Then a couple of months ago I was in Bible study and a group of us were asked if we knew what our purpose was, and I couldn’t even answer the question. After that, I wanted to challenge myself and really spend my time with God in SILENCE so he could tell me what my purpose was. I found this to be very important because I wanted to live a purposeful life, so I could be able to pour into people. Of course, God revealed
to me what my purpose was, and I was able to move forward and do his will. Your life will start to feel different when you are fulfilling God’s purpose. Why? Because you are living for someone other than yourself, you’re living for Christ.
If you ever get a chance, I would encourage you to take some time to read Ecclesiastes, it makes you look at life in a totally different way. If it becomes confusing below, I have inserted a video from the Bible Project to help you gain a better understanding of Ecclesiastes.
If you have any prayer requests, please list them in the comment section. Don’t forget to like and subscribe!