If you find yourself developing a BIG HEAD, you may want to read thru the Book of Ecclesiastes. There are no big shots in this book. “One generation passes and another comes…. nothing is new under the son.. there is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-11)
As Fr. Mike Schmitz was commenting on this book in the “Bible In A Year” podcast he asked “ who can list the names of all the presidents of the United States”… who remembers them?” For you baseball fans, list the League MVP’s of the last 10 years, of the last 5 years? Who was the Speaker of the House in 1950? Let’s bring it closer to home … tell me about your great grandfather. I never met my two grandfathers… excellent men who died before I was born.
I may be a big shot today, at least in my own mind, but who will remember me tomorrow. “But Dave, don’t you know that I was a star on my high school basketball team… people almost wanted to get my autograph …. I was an executive at a Fortune 100 Firm …. I was the head of a department in the Vatican…. I have my Ph.D.” All is passing away. The years go so quickly and after awhile, no one remembers. Well, almost no one.
Jesus reminds us that this world is passing away, but eternal life is before us. “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 8:25) Only what’s done for Christ will last.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mt. 6:19-21) Only what’s done for Christ will last.
If we are living for this world only, we are fools. Oh how we can crave honors and accolades and prestige in this world… treasure that is quickly passing away. “I was overlooked for that reward, I should have gotten that promotion, why am I not giving that presentation…”. In a short time, no one will remember any of that. Only what’s done for Christ will last.
The Bool of Ecclesiastes is a book of great wisdom, outlining many truths about how to live and enjoy life. It’s worth a read or re-read. The last line of the Book of Ecclesiastes calls us to “fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecc. 12-14)
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee (Protestant Missionary, C. T. Studd)
Oh Lord, help us to live for you …. and when dying , how happy we will be…. very good news.