I chuckle a bit when looking at the above image. One would have to be an electrician or electrical engineer to get it–I’m neither, but I get it. It’s the symbol for resistance. So, it means Resistance Is Futile! And in case you were wondering about the title of today’s musings–they are synonyms for Futility! Today’s culture has many issues; even more problems. Among those is Futility; more accurately–the failure to recognize Futility.
Allow me to share what a certain author once wrote. This particular author had the means to do anything he wanted–without anyone telling him he couldn’t. Ever imagine winning the biggest lottery and what all you would do? This author lived his life doing anything and everything he wanted. And after the fact–he writes with brutal honesty about that experience. Here is what he had to say:
“Everything is meaningless, completely meaningless! What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.” A few lines later, he adds this: “But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.”
Do these words sound like a cynic? Do these words sound like what is in your own heart, but you are either too stubborn to admit it; or too afraid? Our culture is that proverbial hamster on a wheel. Running as fast and as hard as we can, spinning that wheel, but going and getting nowhere. People try and try to make their own way work. They live by the opinions of others. They live by their feelings. And they live by their own sincere beliefs–be they ever so ineffective. No wonder there is so much hate, frustration, anger, distrust, resentment, and yes–Futility.
It’s going to take more than getting the hamster off the proverbial wheel. When the hamster gets off that wheel, he’s still in a cage–imprisoned. So he gets right back on that wheel hoping it will free him from his prison. So he runs a little faster; tries a little longer; hopes a little more. And when he finally gets too tired to run anymore, he’s still in that cage. Rest a moment, then try again. Rest again. Try again. Listen again to the thoughts of the aforementioned author: “The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.“ And the resulting sensation after all this? Try these words on for size: “Everything is wearisome beyond description.“
If you listen very carefully you will hear that Sigh Of Futility when we writes: “Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.“ Is that how the world looks to you? Is that how you feel about your life? Sounds like he wrote this just this morning.
Oh, would you like to know the name of this book and the author? Get your pen and paper; write it down so you can get on Amazon and order the correct book. Here it is: Ecclesiastes is the book and the author is King Solomon. And to think, some believe the Bible isn’t relevant for what we are face any and every day. Granted, this all sounds like doom and gloom–because it is. Without understand the Key to what he writes, it seems like we should all give up and live in loud desperation.
I am thankful to Chuck Swindoll for helping me see and understand exactly what Solomon is writing about. I give credit where the credit is due. The key phrase that makes sense of all this “Everything is meaningless, completely meaningless” wretchedness is this repeated phrase: UNDER THE SUN! It comes from living a life completely detached from God–the God revealed in the Bible through The SON.
Life without surrendering to God always feels like, using Solomon’s image, we are chasing the wind. Chasing the wind only gets us winded–and gives us that tsunami of Futility. The Futility of life without The SON isn’t God punishing us for ignoring Him. It’s the reality of life without the Lordship of Jesus over us–how we think, what we say, and what we do. It one of those moments of true cause and effect. Until we quit living under the sun and start living under the SON we will be plagued by Emptiness, Frivolousness, Measliness, Paltriness, and Triviality–which means Futility!
And if you doubt this Wise Man’s opening remarks, then listen to this: “We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us. And this, too, is a very serious problem. People leave this world no better off than when they came. All their hard work is for nothing—like working for the wind. Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud—frustrated, discouraged, and angry.” Futility ends when we kneel at the Cross and surrender everything under the sun and begin living life under the Kind Rule of The Son!
5 thoughts on “Emptiness, Frivolousness, Measliness, Paltriness, and Triviality”
There’s no doubt Solomon got it right when he said all is vanity. But why did Solomon say this?
I don’t think it was to depress us and make us give up.
Quite the opposite, it was so we don’t take ourselves too seriously and that we should have a Kingdom mindset.
Jesus says we should be born again, that He would give us not only life, but a more abundant life for His Kingdom is not of this world.
The first time I read Ecclesiastes I could totally understand what Solomon was saying , though I wasn’t sure who Jesus was at that time.
In knowing all is vanity, we are opened up to the possibility of real life.
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Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
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Thank you, Pastor Randy, You have reminded me of another Merton Quote
“That which is oldest is most new. There is nothing so ancient and so dead as human novelty. The “latest” is always stillborn. It never manages to arrive. What is really new, was there all the time. I say, not what has repeated itself all the time; the really “New” is that which at every moment. springs freshly into existence. The newness never repeats itself. Yet it is so old it goes back to the earliest beginning.
It is the very beginning itself, which speaks to us.”
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We can always count on a great Merton quote!
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