Do you ever sit and ponder life?
Sometimes I sit on the deck in the cool of the evening and wonder; why do I do all this stuff called work? Why do I work from sun up to sun down and then some? Does anyone appreciate what I do? Is it worth anything to have neat flower beds, mowed lawn, and clean floors? I can’t take it with me. I ponder the brevity of life and then the finality of death. Do the cares of this life matter?
King Solomon pondered this and wrote, “What profit has a man for all his labor which he does under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3).
Sometimes I look at my hands and the hands of older” folks. They often look worn, wrinkled and boney. I am reminded of the song….
by Hoyt Axton
“Work your fingers to the bone – whadda ya get?
( Whoo-whoo ) Boney Fingers – Boney Fing-gers”
As Solomon pondered he wrote that life is tiresome, wearisome, unfulfilling, uncontrollable and it is all vanity. Vanity means useless and meaningless-literally breath of breaths like the wind. He saw that generations come and go, the sun rises and sets, the wind blows to the south and circles around and blows from the north, all the rivers run into the ocean but they are never full, the eye is not satisfied with seeing or the ear with hearing, a man dies and leaves his heritage to a man who has not labored for it, and the flesh is never satisfied. He said, “for all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 2:23).
But as Solomon wrote and pondered a change began to happen. These words sprang from the depths of his soul… “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God”. He began to see that God had made everything beautiful and there was a season and time for every purpose on earth. He saw that God requires an accounting of what is past in our lives and there is vanity to selfish toll. The saw the value and strength of friendships. He gave some warnings; walk prudently when you go to the house of God, do not be rash with your mouth and make hasty vows, the love of silver, gold and abundance is never satisfied and greed is a severe evil and obey the king. He admonishes us to know our Creator in our youth before the difficult years come. And then he says, “as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him the power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly all the days of his life because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”
Then Solomon said death comes to all, rich and poor, wise and foolish. All die and return to dust.
Does it matter what I do in life? Does it matter how I care for my space of green earth? Does it matter that I work and toil to feed and provide for my family? Does it matter that sometimes the routine things in life seem mundane? Absolutely. Solomon said there is no end to the books we can write and too much study is wearisome to the body but he said, “Here is my conclusion…
Fear God and keep His commandments for this is a man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14
When I look at wrinkled, worn hands I don’t just see boney fingers. I see tired fingers from years of hard work done with a heart of love.