It’s been said that the vainest things in life are the ones that we expect the most contentment from. We are hedonists and pleasure seekers by nature. We want satisfaction and contentment and seem committed to finding it somewhere on earth. People are constantly asking, “What’s the meaning of life,” like maybe the answer would satisfy their discontent. However, few people meditate on this question, and most would rather pacify themselves with fleeting pleasures.
They wake up every day only to repeat the cycle of seeking contentment, not finding it, and settling for some form of temporary gratification. It’s a virtual Groundhog Day for humanity. King Solomon understood this more than anyone, and he writes in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (ESV).
Earlier in verse two of the same chapter, he calls everything “meaningless” or “vanity” which translates better as “redundant”. Obviously, everything isn’t meaningless, otherwise why take time to teach people the valuable lessons in Ecclesiastes? Redundant, however, makes perfect sense.
We, outside of a relationship with Jesus who satisfies our deepest longings, are left to a redundant existence. Were it not for faith in another life to come, we’d have no hope but to look for contentment in power, pleasure, or possessions, only to never find it. Life seems very worthless under the sun, unless your worth is found in the Son.