Meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless. Some of us get that quote immediately. Those who do recognize what Solomon is saying in Ecclesiastes.
What profit is there under the sun, he asks. For what reason do we strive on this planet? The most beautiful poetry in the bible is in the first chapter of this book. The pattern, the cycle, it continues unabated; nothing we do changes the nature of our world, yet our heart’s emptiness demands more.
“All the rivers run into the sea,
yet the sea is not full;
to the place from which the rivers come,
there they return again.”
This hunger, this striving, it never ends. To anyone who has ever rested alone under the stars and wondered, in unspeakable thoughts, what purpose, what meaning, could be found in life will find their questions here brought into daylight.
Solomon describes his life, his achievements, and all the riches he had gathered as king. And it meant nothing.
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done
and on the labor in which I had toiled;
and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.
There was no profit under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes is not for everyone, but God will find a way to talk to you, as He found a way to talk to a man named Jeff Allen. Jeff’s testimony shows the nature of a God who will hunt us for our own good. I love C. S. Lewis’ quote: “God was the hunter and I was the deer. He stalked me, took unerring aim, and fired.”
In the meaningless cycles of this physical world our hearts call out from their emptiness. Solomon could not find it in his own greatness, Lewis did not find it in the poetry he loved[i], and Jeff had no luck finding it in the booze and cocaine. This sad comedian couldn’t find the manual to fix his inner brokenness until he contacted the maker of that manual.
At the end of this video describing his testimony, Jeff recites a poem he wrote:
Who I was is not who I am
Today I choose to walk a different path
So feel free to throw at me the stones of my past
I will not deny them but I will gladly receive them
and use them to humble me
for today my shield is the LORD
and it’s because of who he was and the blood that he shed
I no longer have to run from my past
But I can embrace it and walk with peace to my future.