There's Gotta Be More

There are times when I strongly identify with The Preacher in Ecclesiastes. I know I'm still young, but I often find myself questioning the cyclical nature of life.

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Why do I wash a dish and put it back, only to take it out and use it again? Why do I go to work to pay for the lifestyle that is maintained by going to work, which pays for the bills I incur by living?

What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?

Why do so many things give but a fleeting sense of pleasure to a mind/heart/body that is never satisfied?

All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.

I love to learn, but I find myself yearning to uncover an idea that has never been discovered before.

Is there anything of which one can say,
"Look! This is something new"?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.

My heart delights in many things, but the delight lasts only for a season.

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.
So what is the point, I ask myself? Even the conclusion to which Solomon came is disheartening.

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink
and find satisfaction in his work.
This too, I see, is from the hand of God

Last Sunday, I was listening to Pastor Krogh preach on this passage (Ecclesiastes 1-2) at Grace Community Church, and he said something that captured my attention.

If you find within yourself a desire that cannot be satisfied here on Earth, it must mean you were meant for a place beyond this world.
That way of looking at it has been coming back to me today as The Preacher's words have cycled through my mind and as I have battled an oppressive sense of discouragement. I have so much to be grateful for, so I have been trying to understand why it is my heart still wants to question and probe and is not satisfied with these blessings. I have been feeling that my restlessness is a slap in the face to all the people surrounding me with their love and encouragement and generosity, and even more than that, an insult to the Giver who has showered His love upon me.

But, if Pastor Krogh's interpretation of The Preacher's lament rings true, then it might just be that what I am experiencing today is not ingratitude, but an acknowledgment that there is more to my existence than taking pleasure in blessings. My heart longs to understand the character of a God who gives good things to His children but does not allow them to be satisfied by it.
I don't know the answer, but I do believe that the pleasures I enjoy here on Earth are only shadows of something more.

With that in mind, it almost becomes like a game to try to imagine what good things will be better in heaven.

  • Could the scent of bacon frying possibly get any better?
  • Will we be able to eat salty foods endlessly without dehydration?
  • Will chocolate be good for us in heaven?
  • Will peppermint be even more refreshing than it is now?
  • Will everyone have the ability of perfect articulation?
  • Will I have a photographic memory?
  • Is it possible I actually will be able to dive into deep blue?
These questions just look ridiculous in writing ... but who doesn't have an endless list? I want to know the answers ... we all want know so bad.

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J said...

The quote that struck you is from C.S. Lewis (although I can't remember which book).

Good stuff though, that concept always leaves me wondering what it will be like too.

Adam said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Depending on my mood, I can react to Ecclesiastes in one of two ways:

Sometimes I'm thankful that Ecclesiastes is in the Bible. It reminds me that I'm not the first to know weariness.

And then sometimes if I'm already weary I just read Psalms instead :)

And oh dang, the sentiment from Krogh/C.S. Lewis is also from Plato!

Rachel E. Watson said...

Ha, Adam, sounds like you've got a good system going there! (You'll have to tell me those thoughts on Plato sometime, too.)