Friday 20 September, 2019
The meaninglessness of life
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher. Vanity of vanities! All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity [futile, meaningless—a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes, merely chasing the wind]” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
The wise man’s analysis of the meaninglessness of life did not appeal to me until I saw the vanity of life with my own eyes. A good looking, brilliant young gentleman who commanded all my respect, was an icon and role model to me in a blink of an eye became an alcoholic, never recovered, died and was buried two years ago. The guy was very bright in class; I could see a medical doctor or perhaps a lawyer in him. But just a second alone was enough for him to have turned into a drunkard and he hasn’t left any legacy. I saw meaninglessness of life in him.
Well, whether this young man continued to fulfill his dream, it would be vanity if he did it without the guidance of God. There are many ‘successful’ people in our midst who unfortunately have their money as their god. They have no fear of God, they are godless, walk in paths of their own eyes, and they never ever give heed to the statutes of God. King Solomon who is thought to have written this text in Ecclesiastes was one such a person.
Solomon married seven hundred women, and owned three hundred more women as concubines. Solomon was very wise and his glory and fame spread all over the world. But Solomon did not revere the Lord much of his time. It was in the later age in his life when he was not able to enjoy the pleasures of the world that Solomon discovered the futility of life outside of God.
Solomon’s example and text on the meaninglessness of life should help us to acknowledge and walk with God as soon as we encounter the Gospel. There is no meaning in life elsewhere than in Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Our meaning in life must be derived from God’s purpose for making and putting us here because “God’s purpose gives life meaning” (Woodrow Kroll). Without God in ones’ life, there is vanity; without Christ, there is meaninglessness of life.
Pray: Reveal to me Lord your purpose for my life that I may live a meaningful life. Amen!
Rev. Julius I. Tabi is a Dean of Students’ Affairs at Uganda Christian University Arua Campus. He is an ordained minister in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile (Church of Uganda) and serves as chaplain at Ushindi Secondary School in Arua. Julius is a student of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology of Uganda Christian University. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at MF Norwegian School of Theology. Prior to his pastoral training, Julius trained as a high school Biology and Chemistry teacher. You may reach him by completing the form below.