HOW BALANCED IS YOUR LIFE?
9 What payoff does the worker get from his work? 10 I have seen the responsibility that God has given to the children of Adam to be busy with. 11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. Also, he has put a desire for permanence into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
the illusion of permanence
Popular religious talkers often quote this passage entirely outside its context. They talk about heaven being everyone’s goal because God has placed it subliminally as a target in our hearts. But we have already seen that Solomon’s point was not that we are all longing for heaven. His point was that we are all frustrated that life on earth does not last. What God has placed in our hearts is a desire for our lives to last. The illusion of permanence drives us to work harder and longer. Solomon has been there. Now he urges the next generation – not to stop working, but to live balanced lives, because permanence this side of the resurrection is an illusion.
LORD, give us the wisdom to work, pray and love with a balanced perspective – one that recognizes our present status as impermanent creatures.