I’ve recently read many articles and status updates voice frustration at the pretense that can occur when you view a person’s life only through photos on Facebook. We post all the smiling faces, happy moments, and life seems good. Sadly instead of making us content and happy…it often stirs up frustrations or jealousies. We can begin to think that people are being inauthentic and aren’t showing their “true colors.”
I’m not really looking to have input on all this…but I do think that our disgust with the veneer of social media is interesting because it reveals something that we ALL know to be true.
Things in this world aren’t right.
Surely nobody is really THAT happy.
Or as Solomon would put it, all is vanity.
Isn’t it a bit sad that when someone seems happy, our instinct is to think that they are faking it or hiding something? I mean, it might be true. But isn’t that SAD? Our world is broken. Even when we look at those that seem to have achieved a level of happiness and comfort…most of us seem to know that deep down something is broken in their lives. They too are experiencing pain, worry, stress, relationship malfunction or any of the other things that leave us a bit disappointed in and disillusioned with our time here on this earth.
At every event I ask folks to raise their hand if they have any hardship in their lives. Not one person has yet to say that their life is 100% trouble free.
We all feel that something is wrong and we’re all striving somewhat aimlessly to fix it.
In the middle of our set, before we start singing the song “Meaningless”, the powerpoint clicks to the title screen. With a smile, I’ll typically say something like this, “this is the really hopeful part of our concert.” Chuckles abound and my smile grows.
The truth is that it really is the hopeful part of our concert. We just get there a different route than expected.
That’s where you might be with this blog. You might be thinking…man, this blog is making a good point, but it’s super depressing. We are all messed up and we know it. This world is broken and we know it. Bummer.
Ecclesiastes is kinda like that. The whole book is one bummer after another. One broken attempt after another to make life awesome and satisfying. It’s a book bemoaning the many disappointments in this life.
So why is this book in the Bible?
What can we learn from Solomon?
Well, if we are wise, we can choose to learn from his experience. We can take him at his word instead of experiencing all the extra heartache that he went through in order to discover the truth.
We can choose to embrace early the fact that many paths in this life lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction. When we do that, we might begin to say something similar to C.S. Lewis:
If I find within myself a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.C.S. Lewis
Notice that C.S. Lewis doesn’t lose hope and faith that life is worth living. If that’s where you’re brain is going — Stop it! No, the point isn’t to lose faith…the point is to place our faith in something better. There is nothing in this world that will satisfy. We either believe that now or we limp to this discovery later.
Hebrews talks this way about people that were full of faith:
…But they saw the [promises] from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland…they now desire a better place — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.Hebrews 11:13-16
The book of Ecclesiastes doesn’t leave me hopeless because discovering all the things that ARE meaningless only gets me that much closer to embracing the things that are truly meaningful and worthwhile. If I heed his experience, then I will have avoided a lot of unnecessary heartache and I am that much closer to placing my faith in that which won’t let me down. I’m that much closer to investing my life in the things that will bear the fruit that I desire.
Jesus doesn’t want us to live meaningless lives. He came to give us abundant, full, rich, and satisfying lives. (John 10:10) Rich lives that are so inwardly strong and sturdy that no circumstance, no season, and no storm can knock it down. (Psalm 1)
Our disgust with the veneer of social media reveals that we all know life here isn’t picture perfect. Our disgust with social media reveals our longing for a better place…a better home.
I encourage you to be disgusted no longer! Instead, let’s learn from what stirs within us. Let’s let Facebook teach us that the idea of a picture perfect life here is a fantasy. It’s a mirage created by our longing for something more.
Don’t lose heart! What we long for does exist. We just need to fight the urge of settling for sand and embrace the Living Water. We need to remember we are just passing through. This isn’t our home…but we are on the way there.
I mentioned that we sing a song called “Meaningless” and so I’m attaching that song at the bottom of this blog for you to listen to for free. I’ll also attach another song we wrote called “Not Our Home.” Both of these songs come out of what God has been teaching us through His Word and our hope is that they will stoke the fire of faith within you.
We travel full time as a family sharing these songs and the scriptures behind the songs. If you would like to talk with us about visiting your church or playing in your home for your bible study or neighborhood gathering…please contact us because we would love to talk with you about visiting.
Thanks for journeying with us.