As a result of some good discussion at the young men’s study on a recent Wednesday evening, Justin Sweeney wrote the following as he reflected on the book of Ecclesiastes. I’m glad he has agreed to share it with us. Enjoy!
The first major meaninglessness of my life… The Micro Machines Super Van City.
Here’s the commercial:
I was sure my existence would be complete and I would be perpetually happy once I opened up that sweet van with a collapsible city packed full with tiny cars. Oh, how I longed to share the same joy as the boys on the packaging and TV.
I begged my parents to liaise with Santa and inform him that it was the only item on my Christmas list; nothing else would be a fair substitute.
Christmas morning came with presents under the tree and to my delight there was a gleaming package which contents matched the shape of the box that I lingered over in the isle of Toys”R”Us.
Wrapping paper flew as I tore my way through it revealing the perfect box – “Micro Machines Super City Van” Wow! It’s mine!
Barely containing myself, I ripped open the box and… yes! There it was! My life is complete!
Oh, wait?… what’s this? What to my wondering eyes did appear?!… a heap of off-white plastic, clusters of injection molded pop-out model kits, and 3 sheets of sticker decals.
Where were the neatly paved roads, the brightly colored buildings, the carwash, airport and police station? They required some assembly.
Where were all the tiny cars, boats in the marina and flying helicopter overhead like on TV?! Sold separately; as absent as my joy.
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. -Ecclesiastes 2:11
I’d been bamboozled; duped.
That boy in the commercial tricked me.
The smile printed on the box was posed.
And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. -Ecclesiastes 4:4
My once prized Super Van City, the object that would surely make me happy, was sold at a yard sale. Pennies on the dollar.
God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil. -Ecclesiastes 6:2
I learned a lesson that Christmas. Not everything is all that it’s cracked up to be. And yet it’s a lesson I forget with each seemingly new thing my eyes see and my ears hear.
There is nothing new under the sun, and in and of themselves, nothing is as advertised – only Jesus.
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. -Ecclesiastes 12:13-14