Augustine got where Solomon was coming from when he wrote in his Confessions, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” Time is fleeting in this mortal life; better to believe, realize and experience what the true “chief end of man” is now rather than later (or never). Beats chasing after the wind.
Let’s not miss Solomon’s sober discovery these days:
Ecclesiastes 2:1 “I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.”
It is becoming clearer to me, thanks in part to this virus, how looking for satisfaction in a life focused totally on that which is “under the sun” is pointless. It’s time to focus on what is beyond the sun instead, for “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?” (Mark 8:36). Best to store up for ourselves “treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:19-21) where moth and thief (and viruses) cannot destroy or rob us of that “pearl of great price” (Matt. 13:46). Augustine got where Solomon was coming from when he wrote in his Confessions, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” Time is fleeting in this mortal life; better to believe, realize and experience what the true “chief end of man” is now rather than later (or never). Beats chasing after the wind.
This article appeared on The Reformed Mind.