We may embark in the pursue of many good things, but Ecclesiastes reminds us it’s God who defines the worthiness of our pursues.
Solomon starts his book with a great question: what’s the gain of all our effort? We are constantly on the move, we are constantly pursuing, obtaining, gaining.
For what? What is the net result we are so heavily investing for?
It’s happiness, of course. But, continuing with the deep questions, he challenges us to consider if we will, ever, be truly happy and satisfied. After all, he posts, we do not see an example of such satisfaction anywhere in the created order.
Why would it be any different for us?
The Preacher is not asking us to quit or give up. He is confronting the reasons we are doing what we are doing. He is challenging us to think seriously about fundamental ideas that drive our behavior and define our treasures and delights.
The end of his first chapter gives us an idea of the direction he will go with the rest of the book. Here we see an emphasis on the word “apply,” which means to give oneself in the pursue of a goal. He says he has applied his heart “to seek and to search.” The Preacher is all in! He is going for it, and he is not leaving anything on the table.
But then he says that God has given us an “unhappy business.” That word ‘given’ is the same word used for ‘apply.’
We may be under the impression we are the captains of our own destiny, that we are the ones applying ourselves to great and worthy pursues, but it is really God who is in charge, and what we may consider worth of all our efforts may be, at the end, a sad business because we were after it based on the wrong idea that we are in charge, that we are the ones who decide and define what’s worth seeking and searching.
Who defines your pursuits in life? What does that says about the current condition of your heart?
Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity.