Friday, March 04, 2011

"Don't Adjust Your Life"

Every Day Light

"... there is nothing new under the sun." (v. 9)

For reading & meditation: Ecclesiastes 1:8-11

It is surprising how many Christians have never read the Book of Ecclesiastes. One woman told me that Ecclesiastes was the one book in the Bible she could not read. "I am put off by all that pessimism and gloom," she explained. There is, however, a purpose behind this pessimism and gloom.

Dr. Cynddylan Jones, a famous Welsh preacher, put it like this: "No Christian will be ready to open himself up to God until he has been gripped, as Ecclesiastes was gripped, by the emptiness and pointlessness of life. It is only when we see, and see clearly, that life is not to be found in the world that we will be ready to move closer toward God."

It is interesting to observe that most philosophers, when they look reality in the face, come to the same conclusion as Solomon. Malcolm Muggeridge, for example, in the days before he found God, saw the world as "an interminable opera." Some graffiti found on the walls of Bath University was even more to the point: "Do not adjust your life, the fault lies in reality."

One of the reasons, I believe, why Solomon uses such vivid illustrations is in order to break through our defensive attempts to avoid reality. Life "under the sun," he has told us, can be boring, fleeting, repetitive, and empty. Life will never be meaningful "under the sun" until we make contact with the One who is above the sun.

Those who try to find meaning without linking their lives to the Creator inevitably see life as an "interminable soap opera." Is it any wonder?

Gracious and loving Father, wean me off any ideas I may have that life can be found 'under the sun.' Grant that I might be gripped by the truth that life, real life, is never found in the horizontal but in the Vertical. In You. Amen.



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