Today is the start of the Labor Day weekend, ending with the holiday that was established to honor workers and the contributions they’ve made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of our country.
The One Year Bible reading for today in Ecclesiastes 1–3 is appropriate at the start of the Labor Day weekend. Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, and his incredible wealth and power seemingly could provide anything he wanted. Nevertheless he declared that “Everything is meaningless!” People rise, work, eat and sleep, and the next day they do it all over again. The cycles of nature repeat over and over. Even mankind’s poor choices and mistakes are repeated generation after generation. Wisdom, pleasure and toil are all, in the end, “a chasing after the wind.”
Is there any hope for meaning and purpose in life? Solomon says there is, in 2:24–26:
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness…
If we go through our daily routine just focusing on the routine itself—the various tasks that lie before us—it can certainly become “a chasing after the wind.” But doing things “as unto the Lord” (Col. 3:23), brings meaning and purpose. The apostle Paul exhorts us in 1 Cor. 10:31,
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Rather than “chasing after the wind,” let’s labor “as unto the Lord.” The Westminster Shorter Catechism provides a great summary of what a meaningful, purposeful life is all about: “The chief and of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”