On being content


What does that mean? The writer* of Ecclesiastes spends a lot of time discussing contentment. Over and over I read that “life is meaningless” yet still the writer manages to convince me that there is purpose and enjoyment in this meaningless life.

“For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?”

“Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
For it is not wise to ask such questions.”

“It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
The man who fears God will avoid all extremes

There is not a righteous man on earth
who does what is right and never sins.”

As I’m thinking about the things that I long for, search for, and chase after, I read these and remember what this life is for. Life is not meant to be ‘accomplished’, but to be enjoyed. If you read the entire book though, you’ll also read that enjoyment doesn’t mean wasted.

Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?

There is much that my soul is longing for. I’ve determined that there will always be something I’m longing for. What I haven’t figured out is how to still long for those things, while resting in contentment of the present. But hey, I’m still young, so I’m working on the assumption that I’ve got some time to figure it out.

However many years a man may live,
let him enjoy them all.
But let him remember the days of darkness,
for they will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless.

Be happy, young man, while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you to judgment.

So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.**

*do we know who wrote it? I’m thinking no, but I’ve been wrong before.
**thanks to Biblegateway.com

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  1. My life application/study bible says King Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes "to spare future generations the bitterness of learning through their own experience that life is meaningless apart from God." Because "Solomon was looking back on his life, much of which was lived apart from God."

  2. kylajoyful

    Awesome! Thanks, Holly!

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