February 8, 2012 • By Ed Wrather
The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it arose. The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; the wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its circuit. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again. - Ecclesiastes 1:5-7 NKJV.
An undercover police officer in Sussex, England was notified by a CCTV operator that there was a suspect in his area. This is an area that has been hit hard by burglars. The CCTV operator gave instructions to the officer, and the chase was on. The officer chased and chased the suspect for more than 20 minutes until a supervisor realized that the CCTV operator had made a mistake. The operator thought that the officer, who was in plainclothes, was a possible burglary suspect; and had been instructing the officer to chase himself. (Orange News 02.08.2012)
What was the point of a police officer chasing himself? What is the point of anyone chasing themselves? That is the point. It is pointless. It is purposeless. It is meaningless to chase yourself. “The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; the wind whirls (circles - Amplified Bible) about continually, and comes again on its circuit.” The Book of Ecclesiastes is all about how to find meaning in life, or maybe a better way of stating it would be of how not to find meaning in life. Solomon tried about every possible way to find meaning and for a portion of his life just ended up chasing himself. Solomon kept going in circles like a cat or a dog chasing its tail, just chasing himself. Have you ever felt like that? You just keep doing the same thing over and over again, and you wonder if there is any real purpose, real need to keep on going? How do you find meaning, purpose, in life?
Solomon sums up his miserable attempts to find meaning in the pleasures of this world with a summary statement of what he finally realized by saying, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV).” What about us what are some practical ways that we can find meaning and purpose in life and stop chasing ourselves? In response to the question about what is the greatest commandment, Jesus said this, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV).”
You can know Jesus as your Savior and still end up chasing yourself if you do not love God by putting God first in your life. As Jesus says in Matthew 6:33 NKJV, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” This is a prescription for purpose, for meaning, for joy to be added to your life. Serving God, being obedient to God, has to be at the very top of your list of priorities or you will just continue on chasing yourself around and around in circles. You make God first by giving Him your time. You give God time when you pray, read the Bible, attend church, when you give, and serve Him in any way. You make God first by not just talking about these things but by actually doing them.
You do not have to go through the misery that Solomon went through and that so many others have gone through. You can begin now to live your life for God in every possible way that you can. Then, you will find peace. Then, you will find joy. Then, you will find meaning. Then, you will find purpose. Then, you will have stopped chasing yourself.