So now I hate life because everything done here under the sun is so irrational. Everything is meaningless, like chasing the wind. I am disgusted that I must leave the fruits of my hard work to others. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? And yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work. How meaningless!
So I turned in despair from hard work. It was not the answer to my search for satisfaction in this life. For though I do my work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, I must leave everything I gain to people who haven’t worked to earn it. This is not only foolish, but highly unfair. So what do people get for all of their hard work? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night they cannot rest. It is utterly meaningless. – Ecclesiastes 2:17-23
First of all, the writer of the first 6 chapters of Ecclesiastes is not a happy guy. This part of the book is pretty much an essay in futility. However, I can relate some days to the whole “glass is half empty” aspect. Office politics, sales goals, and deadlines don’t add much to my spiritual life, and I am left wondering why I work so hard.
Of course, having an income is nice. I like having a roof over my head and food in my refrigerator (too much food sometimes – or at least too much of the wrong food). A car to drive and clothes to wear – also nice. Certainly others can appreciate the fact that I am not walking around naked.
Plus, I am completely replaceable. Someone else can be hired to do what I do. I do not have any talents that can’t be found in anyone else. I’m not one of a kind. Or am I?
Corporately, I am a minute spec of a large snow drift. Biblically and spiritually, I am a snowflake – unique (I have friends that could probably expound for days on my “unique” qualities).
I have been with my current employer for 12 years. The benefits are good, I have a lot of friends there, and I am good at what I do. It’s a comfortable old shoe. And even though a new shoe would solve the problems on no support and holes in my soul, I would have to go thru the process of breaking in the new ones. I might get blisters or be in worse pain than I am now. And then what do I do?
According to our friend in Ecclesiastes, death comes to us all. I have between zero seconds and about 40-ish years left. And while I am banking on an afterlife of biblical proportions, I also want to make good use of the time left on this earth, and not have it feel like futility.
What say you? Would you stay with your comfy old shoes? Or start shoe shopping?