Stuff. Our lives revolve around it. As I sit in my chair, my chin in my hands, I stare around the room. I’m trying to find inspiration, but all I see is stuff. The pile of books on the buffet, the multiple electronics on the desk, my piano, my jewelry…some are important. Others, not so important. But no matter what value we place on these things, that’s exactly what they are. Things. Stuff.
The home of a family we know was flooded during Hurricane Isaac (yes, I know I’ve brought that storm up quite a lot lately). I just can’t imagine that. One day, you’re going about your life, and the next thing you know all your stuff is gone. Swept away. And I keep thinking, if that was me, what would my next move be? When everything that was once yours just disappears, what do you do?
The world we live in places so much value on stuff. Acquiring it, keeping it, getting more of it, selling it so you can buy more stuff. But what’s the point?
I’ve been reading Ecclesiastes lately. The whole theme of the book is pretty depressing. I mean, it’s line after line of “everything is meaningless”, and part of me wonders why this book is even in the Bible. But, hey, everything in there is there for a reason, right?
As I read more of it, I come to realize something (and I don’t claim to be some sort of expert, but this is the way I see it). The book is talking about life in general. The things we strive for and can achieve. Basically, what we want and need in life. In chapter 2, the author talks about how he had everything that’s considered good, that’s supposed to make you happy. However, he says this in verses 10 and 11:
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
So what’s he’s basically saying is that, even though he had everything he wanted, he was still missing something. He had all the stuff a person can have, but he wasn’t complete.
But I continue reading, and it seems there’s something more to all of this. The author is talking about life without God. And it’s so true! A life without God is meaningless. We have do have a space in our heart that needs to be filled. And not with just anything–we need a relationship with God. If we didn’t believe in God, our lives would be filled with trying to make ourselves happy. We get more and more stuff…but it never feels like enough. I can see why the author sounds so depressed. It’s because we don’t need something; we need someone!
We cling to our stuff. And, for sure, often our most treasured memories are symbolized through our possessions. But, in the end, what does it matter? When you die, do you really believe you’ll be thinking about all that stuff you left behind? I think we’ll probably have more important things on our mind.
Do you feel like you’re missing something in life? Believe me, you can’t fill it with the latest gadget or whatever it is that you want. God is the only One that can fill that emptiness. There’s just one question: Will you let Him?
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