Good old King Solomon! Not Wenceslaus! Two chapters to read today. Tsk…tsk. You won’t be sorry. These chapters display wisdom from Solomon as he approaches the very end of his life. He was doing some reflecting, like someone else I know and like! Me! Here’s something hard to believe– he made more mistakes, committed more sins, than even I have! Have you looked in the mirror lately?!
Solomon begins by telling us that life is meaningless. Oh, that’s good news to start my day! Meaningless–vanity, transitory, empty and fleeting(told you I got a new Thesaurus for Christmas!). He’s tried it all. Excesses… that make us blush. Good enterprises… that went awry. Education… as the ‘Renaissance Man’ he was. Yet, he writes “Meaningless, meaningless…” (1:2).
All a big, fat waste of time with a clock that’s running out of hours and minutes. However, the phrase that caught my attention was ‘chasing after the wind’. Five times in these two chapters, he uses this phrase. I can picture one of our grandchildren running outside chasing a leaf, blown around in the wind…to no avail. Trying to catch the wind is ultimate futility. Oh, how I dread playing tennis or golf on a windy day. At least I can blame my lame game on that infernal wind!
Can’t catch the wind. It would drive you mad. One of my favorite silent movies is Lillian Gish’s ‘The Wind’. The unyielding wind of the Texas prairie drives her literally insane. Images of her tiny body facing into that unrelenting wind, trying to keep the intrusive dust out of her log house, are ones I’ll not soon forget.
When I was an undergraduate student at the Moody Bible Institute, on one of those wintry, blustery Chicago days, where you had to walk hunched-over facing deeply into the wind to keep from being windswept away. Saw children wafted dangerously into the streets by the winds of the ‘Windy City’. The wisdom of the Bible Institute’s architects was to build heated tunnels connecting all the buildings. The cold, the wind, the blowing snow…all kept away from us… if we stayed inside.
Like knowing Jesus, who keeps us safe and secure. Tunneling near to the heart of God, finding shelter from life’s windy blasts. Without the stability of God’s love anchoring us to safety and shelter, life would be little more than meaningless ‘chasing after the wind’.
Remember, Jesus gives us the wind of the Holy Spirit. He’s that gentle breeze that feels good and clean. The Holy Spirit is the dependable reason for whatever season we find ourselves in. Comfort and counsel, all from God’s Holy Spirit, make for a certain richness to our daily grind. Even old Solomon would say “amen” to that! How about you? Happy New Year!
Prayer: Dear God, in this new year help us to find our safe lodging in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.