Escape from living ‘under the sun’

Dear Neighbour,

As the school and work year get underway for 2014 many of you may be contemplating the cycle of life. You are not alone…

Solomon, the wisest and wealthiest king of Israel expressed his frustration this way: What profit has a man from all his labour in which he toils under the sun? One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever. The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, And hastens to the place where it arose. The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north; The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit. (Ecclesiastes 1:3-6). King Solomon came to this depressing conclusion at the end of his life: “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Life can seem meaningless.

The book of Ecclesiastes was the last book of the Old Testament to be written, but it is as up-to-date as today’s newspapers and I encourage you to read the twelve chapters where Solomon describes the monotony, futility and frustration of living life ‘under the sun’. American poet Carl Sandberg described life as being like “an onion – you peel if off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”

God understands our frustration and He has made it possible for us to escape from being trapped in a meaningless existence. The truth is that regardless of how much wealth, education, or social prestige you enjoy, life without God is meaningless, and soon or later you will discover that you are “chasing after the wind” and all you are left with is the soapy residue from a bubble. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labour in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11).

The good news is that when you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ you can look at your life from God’s perspective and begin living life ‘above the sun’. The only reason that I have not despaired of suffering with Rheumatoid Arthritis for 35 years is because God has given me an eternal perspective of my life. I am content, and grateful to God for everything I enjoy, and live my life fulfilling, by His grace, His purposes for my life. God will do the same for you if you will…seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2).

x Libby