Monday, April 18, 2011
“I don't want my life to have been in vain but I don't know what to do about it to make it worth something.“
That’s something I’ve read before, again on Sunday, and have given careful thought in how to answer. I think Solomon has several verses that address the answer, beginning with why he wrote Proverbs:
To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. (Proverbs 1:2-4 KJV)
Solomon worshipped the Lord God, making sacrifices to Him. God gave him an opportunity to make a request, and he did:
Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (1 Kings 3:9 KJV)
God granted that request, and gave more:
And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. (1 Kings 3:11-12 KJV)
That’s what I would suggest to the person who wishes not to have lived in vain – an understanding heart to discern between good and bad.
How they achieve that heart is open to a wide range of interpretations depending on one’s upbringing and closeness to their creator. For myself, I’ll turn to another of Solomon’s writings. This one came after years of wisdom, heartache, battles, an aging kingdom and an aging king. After he wrote:
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 1:3 KJV)
He wrote another twelve chapters, most in the same theme, but concluding with one that speaks to me:
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; (Ecclesiastes 12:1 KJV)
Remember thy youth, when the Lord God was acknowledged as Creator, when He inspired Solomon to write:
The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. (Ecclesiastes 12:10 KJV)
Is it truth when he gives us the penultimate conclusion?
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV)
Will we, as he closes, understand that God is the final judge, not man?
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14 KJV)
The choice remains ours whether to hear God – or not.