Solomon’s refrain that everything the world has to offer is “utterly meaningless” (Eccl.1:2) becomes easier to affirm the older one gets. It seems that with increasing age comes the increasing realization that the world is truly a rip-off. In time we discover that moths do destroy, rust really does decay and thieves actually do break in and steal (Mt.6:19). Eventually we learn that the world’s promises don’t deliver, its pleasures are short-lived, and its celebrated pursuits are like “chasing after the wind” (Eccl.1:14).
Unfortunately, Solomon could only embrace God’s satisfying solution from a distance (Eccl.12:9-14). We, on the other hand, are privileged to see it up close (Heb.11:39-40; 1Pet.1:12). While the ultimate phase of God’s plans is yet to come, we can say with Peter that Christ has “redeemed us from our empty way of life” (1Pet.1:18). With Christ’s victory secured on the cross, we can anticipate and celebrate an eternity devoid of sin and sadness. Amid this life’s emptiest days, we can “take heart because Christ has overcome the world” (Jn.16:33). When in this world we feel like “sheep to be slaughtered”, because of Christ’s redemption we can say, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom.8:36-37). Because we have been “raised with Christ” we can “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things because we have died and our lives are now hidden with Christ in God” (Col.3:2-3).
Perhaps Paul put it best when he wrote, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal.6:14). Yes, the world has nothing of lasting value to offer, but Christ offers you everything. His life, death and resurrection are our victory, our life and our future. So today may we look past this present order and “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2Cor.4:18).