“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
Most of us have heard the description of optimism verses pessimism, where we look at the glass as either half full or half empty. Reading the words of Solomon, he seems to have become a guy who believes the glass is not only empty, but is broken and shards of glass are protruding into his skin. His assessment of life is that it is empty and nothing can make it better. He has come to this conclusion by observing nature and his own personal experiences. Looking at nature, he found, no matter what happens, the sun still rises, and though the rivers run into the sea, it never overflows. His personal experience showed him that no matter how much he looks, his eyes still desire to see more. I can’t really fault Solomon. I think, looking at what is happening in the world today would bum most people out, and even create in us a rather cynical view of life.
The cause of Solomon’s depressing view of life was his failure to look at things in light of eternity. If I see my life as only having importance here, I too, will become quite pessimistic. However, if I see what I am doing in light of the ultimate plan of God, life becomes exciting. I am not sure what effect the next encounter, conversation or opportunity might have on eternity. I don’t know what kind of eternal rewards might be gained by faithfully doing the task that is set before me today.
Instead of having a defeatist attitude of life, why not begin to see each day as another opportunity to love, follow, and serve Christ. Why not take time to look for ways to impact others for eternity. The reality is, this life is passing, but eternity is forever. All we really have are the treasures we will store in heaven, and the example we will leave for others.