The Beauty and Meaning of Life
"When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind."1
In speaking about the meaning and purpose of life, one insightful writer said, "It is not about writing great books, amassing great wealth, achieving great power. It is about loving and being loved. It is about savoring the beauty of moments that don't last, the sunsets, the leaves turning color, the rare moments of true human communication."
King Solomon, one of the wisest and richest men of antiquity said about his life: "I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks … reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves …. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces….In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet 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."2
When we realize that the essence of life is not in power, performance, or possessions but in loving relationships—both with our fellow man and with God—and in appreciating the beauty of his creation, and fulfilling his purpose for our lives, we will have discovered what Solomon took a lifetime to learn.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, give me the wisdom to understand that the beauty and true meaning of life is not found in power, performance, or possessions, but in loving relationships the human heart yearns for, and in loving and serving you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ecclesiastes 2:11 (NIV).
2. Ecclesiastes 2:4-8, 10-11 (NIV).