Well, it’s that time of year again.  The mornings are darker, but with the long dawn in Alaska, there’s still some visibility.  It’s mostly shadows at Mill Bay Beach this morning, but at least the picture shows the power of waves in God’s creation.  What a majestic sight!  What beauty!

     But there is so much more than that in life.  I am sure Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, would look at the pleasure of seeing this and call it meaningless, futility.  In fact, in Ecclesiastes, he said: “Absolute futility.  Everything is futile.”  Ecclesiastes 1:2.  Then he proves that statement by examining the things in his life—wisdom, pleasure, possessions, wealth—and finding them futile, as well.  

     “I said to myself, ‘See, I have amassed wisdom far beyond all those who were over Jerusalem before me, and my mind has thoroughly grasped wisdom and knowledge.’  I applied my mind to know wisdom and knowledge, madness and folly; I learned that this too is a pursuit of the wind.”  Ecclesiastes 1:16-17.  Pleasure and laughter, enjoying what is good, “turned out to be futile” as well.  Ecclesiastes 2:1.  Possessions, too:  Solomon (the teacher) had all that his eyes desired, but he “found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind.”  Ecclesiastes 2:11.

     So what is not futile?  Pursuit of the almighty God.  After examining the futility of the worldly life, the teacher concludes:  “When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep his commands, because this is for all humanity.  For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.”  Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

     The beauty of His creation is to point us to the creator, not the creation.  “God works so that people will be in awe of him.”  Ecclesiastes 3:14.  As for us, we will fade away.  “A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.”  Ecclesiastes 1:4.  “There is nothing new under the sun,” Ecclesiastes 1:9, and even the remembrance of us eventually dies.  “There is no remembrance of those who came before; and of those who will come after there will also be no remembrance by those who follow them.”  Ecclesiastes 1:11.

     I ask again, what is not futile?  The pursuit of God.  A focus on Christ.  When Stephen was martyred in Acts 7:54-60, he was so focused on Christ he did not even see the stoning.  All Stephen saw was the glory of God (and a picture of the trinity in Acts 7:56).  He saw Jesus, and he was ready to meet him.  

     I pray that I might be so focused on Christ that He is all I see, even in turmoil.  I pray that my pursuit will be of God, and not of the futility of the world.  How focused on Christ are you?


Rich Harris is a longtime friend of Sandra Naugle (W&W Co-Editor). Rich is employed by the US Coast Guard and he lives and works on Kodiak Island off the Coast of Alaska.