There are earthly rewards for our labor that do not satisfy beyond a short period of time. This is true of most things I do “for myself”. Most of us spend a fair amount of time, as Solomon did, seeking out our own pleasures, hobbies, activities, etc. There is a sense of temporary satisfaction to be found, for sure- making gardens, building homes, finding rare treasures, sensual pursuits, ‘under the sun’. But, a deeper sense of purpose is found ‘under heaven’, knowing and serving God and loving those in our circle of influence. I understand the book of Ecclesiastes much better now that I lived a bit of life.
I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives. Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 NASB
How much of my daily life counts toward eternity? What earthly pleasures and satisfaction are appropriate?
God, as this day begins- I woke up feeling pressure to be in more places that I can actually be. I want to love and support friends but also have other demands on my schedule. Would you help me choose what is best and wisest? Thank you for the earthly pleasures that I, like Solomon, enjoy- building gardens, surfing with friends, collecting commemorative stamps, etc. But, remind me of the eternal too. I will seek and serve You first and foremost. I want to live life under heaven, not just under the sun.
P.s. I don’t agree with the philosophy or quote from Mao. It’s just an interesting perspective that he saw chaos as his opportunity to seize power. Similar strategy for the enemy of our soul.