The Search for Significance

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY.   “I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.” Ecclesiastes  1:14 NLT

Trying to “figure out” life is not a new undertaking. It seems through the ages people have found themselves on a journey to find meaning in life, significance in life, to answer questions like, “why am I here and what is my purpose?”

King Solomon as the wisest and wealthiest king of all time found that even in his wisdom, there were still frustrations when it comes to observing life. He observed and seemed frustrated with the lack of power in human activity. He expressed it in the following…

“What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.” (Eccl. 1:15 NLT)

“The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.” (Eccl. 1:18 NLT)

As a result, Solomon began a search for meaning. “I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless.” (Eccl. 2:1 NLT)

Solomon tried to find satisfaction in achievement, “I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards.” (Eccl. 2:4 NLT)

Solomon found that hard work and achievement doesn’t always result in enjoying the “fruit of your labor.” “Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy.” (Eccl. 2:21 NLT)

Solomon found that wealth can be deceptive and fragile, Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!” (Eccl. 5:10,11 NLT)

Even in his wisdom and learning, Solomon realized that no one person has a corner on knowledge,  “I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.” (Eccl. 8:17 NLT)

The end of Solomon’s search and his conclusion is found at the end of the book. Solomon’s final words are both a summary and a warning, Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” (Eccl. 12:13,14 NLT)

It is interesting how people today will attempt to find significance in the same things that Solomon sought. Man’s search for significance and meaning are after all focused on what people can control, learn or seek to achieve. The world holds up wealth, wisdom, pleasure and financial success as what brings happiness and significance. But like Solomon person after person find that even when they are attained no satisfaction is really achieved.

Solomon found the key. A God-focused existence makes achievement, possession and work meaningful. This world and what it offers is temporary, what is spiritual and what the Lord offers is eternal.