Focal passages: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
In college I had the privilege of meeting Wayne Simien, a brother in Christ and alumnus of my favorite college basketball team: the Kansas Jayhawks. He shared about a life-altering experience that completely changed my perception of success.
Simien was part of the Miami Heat team that won the 2006 NBA Finals.
He talked about the adrenaline rush and the feeling that he had all he could ever want.
The exhilaration wore off that same night when Miami’s coach promised fans another championship in 2007. The team had just reached the highest point in their careers. Was it not enough?
In 2007 the Heat did so poorly they were booed off their own court. The same crowd that idolized them the year before was now taunting them.
As unfulfillment sank in, Simien realized that God was calling him to another dream. He decided to leave the NBA and pursue youth with the gospel.
Similarly, King Solomon seemed to have it all.
He had access to entertainment, endless food and drink, and more wisdom than anyone in his kingdom, yet he regarded it all as vain (Ecclesiastes 2:1-3).
He had more possessions than any king before him, with countless houses, servants, and animals (Ecclesiastes 2:4-7), all of which were evidence of his immeasurable wealth.
With that wealth, Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem, an extravagant monument that was regarded as one of his grandest achievements.
But something was missing.
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done … indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
The New Testament puts it this way, “And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever” (1 John 2:17).
God is a good Father who wants to give good gifts to His children.
But He is our greatest possession and only in Him can we find everlasting pleasure.