Hopelessly Devoted: Ecclesiastes Chapter Two Verses One Through Three and Verse Eleven

This devotion is for anyone with a case of the Mondays… From The Mockingbird Devotional, […]

Mockingbird / 4.16.18

This devotion is for anyone with a case of the Mondays… From The Mockingbird Devotional, today’s entry was written by Todd Brewer:

I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless… 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. (Ecclesiastes 2:1-3, 11; NIV)

1965 brought “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and it seems that the Stones were merely echoing the sentiments of the writer of Ecclesiastes over 2000 years later. Thinking pleasure might escape meaninglessness, the writer of Ecclesiastes came to the same conclusion. But I often think the same way: life would be so much better if I could sleep in late, have a nice breakfast, spend the morning playing Halo, spend my afternoons walking my dogs in the park, and enjoy an endless romantic evening with my wife and a bottle of wine. My life then, without any extraneous demands, would be fulfilled.

This belief system means I live my life always looking forward to my next vacation, where I can finally live life as it’s meant to be lived.

The trouble that the writer of Ecclesiastes finds is that the pursuit of pleasure fails to give any lasting meaning. Pleasure is unable to alleviate the pain of life. At the end of the day, he says, pleasure of its own is “chasing after the wind.” Despite the fact that we all look forward to the next big thing on the calendar—whether it’s the next episode of a favorite TV program, the coming weekend, the car classifieds, that new book in the mail—the enjoyment of its arrival is fleeting, and we look forward again, disappointed.

The love of God is the only salve for the vanity of life. True satisfaction is found not in pleasure but at the foot of the cross of Christ. It is the place where our pursuit of meaning and purpose finds its death, and where true meaning is born and freely given.