Thursday, Feb 14, 2019. What is worth doing? What is of value? What is the driving force of ethics? Sometimes we believe that negation of all values is a modern idea. But it is not. If we look back 3000 years ago, we find basic thoughts already in the Old Testament books, the book Ecclesiastes, the preacher Solomon.
Catching the Wind …
Take some time to read the book where the preacher Solomon writes about life. Here is a passage from its beginning:
1 The words of the Teacher,1 son of David, king in Jerusalem: 2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” 3 What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. 6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. 7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. 8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. 9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. 11 No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them. (from Ecclesiastes 1)
Important Reminder …
Solomon writes important things about life. Reading his words can help us to let go things which we cling to, but which are really catching the wind.
When you search for meaning in your life, when you try to relate to something which could be of value, or which could be lasting, the words of Solomon are a sincere warning. Without the link to the creator, the eternal God, we are as the preacher describes it. The text is a very vivid description of our life as it is.
Where do you find yourself in this text. Is it the toil and labor which characterizes your life? Is it the strive for innovation? The strive for new art? The strive for building up some business or company? Is it the effort to do politics?
The more experiences I gain with life, the more I value the words of Solomon - and the whole biblical testimony. What could be a better description of mankind, of human desire and character? (Roland Potthast) ... further texts