12 I figured out that there is nothing better for them than to be joyous and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his work – this is God’s gift to man. 14 I figured out that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear his presence. 15 What is, already has been; what is to be, already has been; and God holds us accountable for what we forget.
The collector’s message is not that everything is futile and nothing matters. It is the opposite of that. We are held accountable for our attitudes and actions and our failures to act. Life matters, not because we are immortal, but because God is. We can choose to ignore his existence and authority, but if we do so, we will be held accountable for that choice. God is real, and it is right for us to fear him.
But, fearing God does not entail cowering in his presence, as if he hates us. This God whom we are to fear loves us dearly. The cross tells us that. And, what he expects of us is that we live upright lives, do as much good as possible, and exhibit joy. Yes, joy. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Solomon spent most of his life trying to gain access to that joy. In his later years, he discovered that joy comes from a right relationship with God. That relationship is still there when all the money is gone, and all the work is a memory.
LORD, make us people of goodness and joy.
 Galatians 5:22-23.