Life is Meaningless but How to Live Your Best Life Anyway

There is a video by Patricia Bright, where she talks about how she spent 40,000 British Pounds on frivolities and things that really don't matter at all, and how she has learnt her lesson. That's not exactly why I'm writing this post, but it seems like a good preface for this post and what I'm about to blog about. P.S: Spend your money on whatever you like. That's your business haha.

Around the same time I watched that video, I was reading Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is a book of the bible written by King Solomon. If there is one thing we all know about Solomon, it's his wisdom. He was the dude God gave a blank check and told him to ask for anything, and my guy asked for wisdom. Not money, not wealth, not cars. Just wisdom. So God gave him all of that in abundance.  When you are royalty, and rich, and wise, you know you would always have something to say. Boy, did Solomon have a lot to say in Ecclesiastes? But honestly all of it is so practical and relatable to real life. I decided to write about it. Maybe perhaps some of them can be imparted upon you.

You know how we always feel like life can be really repetitive and mundane. Well, Solomon addresses this in Ecclesiastes. This sole thing has caused people a lot of sadness. Solomon really wanted folks to understand that that's exactly life. That life truly has no meaning. Generations come and go, but the earth does not really change.

the sun rises
the sun sets
then hurries around to rise again
the wind blows south and then turns north
around and around it goes, blowing in circles
rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full
then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out
again to the sea

He continues on to say everything is wearisome, even beyond description. History just repeats itself and nothing is new under the sun. I don't know about you, but this provides some relief. I think we can often be very tunnel visioned, and I hate to trivialize anyone's problem. However, we are notorious for often thinking our problems are the worst and we are the only ones going through challenges in life. Meanwhile a.) people are going through worse, and b.) no matter how bad it is, it has happened to someone before.

This man was the wisest ever, but he didn't stop there. He sought out even more knowledge than you can imagine, and then learned it's all meaningless. At first, this might come across as hopeless, but it's not. What it should do is provide some humility.

Then he said, aight, it's time to chase pleasure. Now, if there is one thing you need to know about Solomon, it's that he epitomized enjoyment. He was the original Minister of Enjoyment. The man liked the finer things of life and was not very timid about it. He had about 700 wives, and a few hundred concubines. To put it simply, my guy overdid it. All that being said, surely we can all agree he is a trusted voice when it comes to enjoyment, because been there done that. Amright? No? Okay. He built HUGE homes for himself. He planted beautiful vineyards and filled them with all kinds of fruit trees. He even built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate his flourishing groves. He bought slaves (side eye). He owned large flocks and herd, MORE than any of the kings before him. He had silver, gold, he hired singers, and had everything a man could desire.  Anything he wanted, he would take. And his wisdom never failed him. Yes, I am right. No one personified enjoyment like King Solomon. Yet this man looked at all of it—all  of what he worked incredibly hard to accomplish, and he described them as meaningless, like chasing the wind. It's shocking that this same man referred to everything as "boring". But should't that tell you all you need to know about material things?

The unattractive truth is that, success and prosperity do not last long. All human accomplishments will one day disappear and if people actually lived with this on their minds, they will experience more peace. Because without this knowledge, you are left chasing after the next big thing. Happiness then, becomes something you always seem to pursue but can never quite attain. Because you have attached it to the next promotion, the next raise, the bigger house, the bigger and finer car, the nicer wrist watch, and yes  the newer iPhone model. But Solomon's main goal in Ecclesiastes was to  demonstrate that earthly possessions and accomplishments can be very meaningless. I don't think Solomon meant to say don't enjoy life. That would be hypocritical coming from him. I think he meant to say the opposite—enjoy life. I think he was saying, in reality we need much less than we think to enjoy life and have a good life.

The "chase" of the next high is why many people feel restless and unsatisfied. An inability or unwillingness to enjoy what you have is why even when you can afford the finer things of life, your inexplicable restlessness would further create bigger holes in your heart, so to speak. People seek to feel this empty hollow in so many ways. You can party from sun up till sun down, date the dateable and undateable, be on social media 24/7 without blinking, pour your misery on someone else as much as you like, buy the most expensive car, have all the power you can amass, and still be in great despair. Because those are the wrong things to fill that hollow with. So many people are tired and unfulfilled and wonder what life even means. I'm convinced life is meaningless without something more divine than the aforementioned. For me, that's God. Without God, life is meaningless. And even if you don't agree with me regarding God, surely you must know that using things to fill that restlessness and despair you feel is not helping. Chasing popularity, fame, prestige is  really a a waste of time. Money and wealth will never bring this happiness.

While writing this post, I randomly stumbled on this post about how this man sort of suddenly became a millionaire. He also reiterates the fact that once you have your basic needs met, the fallacy that hitting millions would somehow make your life complete is just that: a fallacy. if anything it reveals the emptiness even more. An emptiness that buying a Lamborghini or buying a a purse worth $16, 000  (Christ Jesus! what is wrong with you people?) would not solve. Sorry, I had to judge for a second. Moving on. This is why it is never worth it to give up your "integrity, dignity, humanity to gain all kinds of money all to have it do more harm than good." Sure, all that money is good and worthwhile but it rarely solves everything. If you don't believe me, then surely you will believe an actual millionaire. And of course, this does not apply to someone struggling to feed their children or to clothe their kids, or to take care of their sick family. Because in the life of someone like that, money would absofreakinglutely change EVERYTHING.

Knowing how useless most things are, isn't it beneficial to think about what you consider worthwhile? The implication of Solomon's words is that we invest our time, energy, and money in what we value, what we consider worthwhile. In some sense, everything Mark Manson said in his book—to spend your time on only what is truly important and immediate—has been said in the bible. Of course Manson may not be  a Christian and probably doesn't know that part.

In essence Solomon implores us  to enjoy life. To not worry too about things. In the end, it all matters so little so don't be so consumed with chasing happiness. Solomon tried that after all, and found how useless they all are since he found no self-worth or fulfillment in any of these, and I know so many people can relate to this. The one thing I feel Ecclesiastes teaches us is to not get worked up over things at all. Life ain't that serious. which is why Solomon recommends there is nothing  better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.

So go ahead
eat your food with joy
and drink your wine with a happy heart
for God approves of this

I love those words. This is especially for my Christian brothers and sisters. We think a life for God is one that is miserable. Scratch that, Christian dudes are the most notorious for thinking to be a Christian is to weird, have no sense of fashion, or to be incredibly corny. Please no.  Dress up nicely, eat good food, laugh, party, celebrate and rejoice with your loved ones. What you should not do is to let these consume you so much that you can't do without all of it.

There is a lot to obviously unpack in Ecclesiastes, that I can't quite fit into one blogpost. Solomon also asks one of my biggest questions as a Christian and person of faith: how can there be so much injustice in the world if God's plan is perfect? How can there be so much evil?  The truth though, as this and other passages in the Bible say is that, God does NOT ignore injustice (no matter how much it looks like it). He will bring an end to it at his appointed time. And best believe there is a time for everything under heaven. There is a time to rise up in anger against that injustice around you. There is a time to chill and be quiet.

What makes all these even more staggering and powerful is that they come from a man who had it all.  When you feel burnt out, when you have many unanswered questions, remember that someone as profound as Solomon felt all that too. I gotta tell you, no matter what you believe, you have to know that wisdom is accepting there is a mystery to this world we will never understand. And sometimes, it's okay to bask in that ignorance.


P.S: Thanks to my sister who somehow remembered that it's been SIX years since I started blogging. Maybe I should write something on that. Or maybe not: no wisdom to impart here. What people would want to hear is how to make money through blogging, and sorry hun, but I can't tell you that because I don't know how. In any case, HURRAY to this blog, you, the reader (thanks!), and me.

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