Remember the 1960’s jingle, “Ford has a better idea”? Truth is, we all have a better idea, at least we think so, and that is the point of Ecclesiastes. We all want to eat, drink, and be merry (Ecclesiastes 2:24, sort of), and we think we know how. Actually, we do know how and therein is the problem. We eat and drink and work and play to fill a void and find meaning, and it is a poor substitute for what God has in store for us. It is meaninglessness. It is vanity; “vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Our better ideas bring instant, but not enduring, gratification, no wonder or beauty, which is what God has in mind.
We live for the moment, for the immediate, life “under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:3), life without regard for God; yet God has put eternity in our heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). God has established a time for everything; a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, build up, weep, laugh, mourn, dance, cast away stones and gather them again; a time to embrace and refrain, seek and lose, keep and cast away; to tear, to sew, to keep silence, to speak, to love, to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3:2-8).
Perhaps the most difficult, but the most vital of all of God’s commands is, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7), because “he has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11), not ours. God has a better idea.
My God, I desire to live a life not focused on pleasure, but on purpose; not for now, but for forever. God, thank You for placing eternity in my heart, for creating me in Your image with Your delights and Your desires. May I always live for You.
Teach me patience and endurance, to wait on Your plans, to endure hardship and suffering, and to discover Your joy and the beauty of Your ways.