Summary: We seek meaning for our lives in the very same places the Teacher looked in Ecclesiastes ... and are all ultimately meaningless without God.

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American Idols: #1 Work

Ecclesiastes 2:17-23

We’re beginning a new series tonight entitled "American Idols." You may be familiar with the popular Fox television show where contestants show off their singing talents and vie to become the next "American Idol." You’d have to have been on another planet to miss all the news in our area as the 2nd winner to receive the coveted 1st place & "American Idol" title was Ruben from Birmingham. Driving thru B-gham recently I saw a huge billboard rooting him on!

The series that we’re beginning tonight will not be a talent competition based on singing talents (I’m sorry to disappoint), but it WILL be an exercise in asking "of all the idols out there in our society, which one is THE American Idol?" That is, which one most correctly characterizes the culture of America at this turn of the century?

Is it ... WORK? Is it ... FAME? Is it ... WISDOM & EDUCATION? Is it ... YOUTH? Is it ... MONEY & WEALTH?

Let me introduce you to a friend . . . Ben A. Workaholic. He’s the 1st contestant in our little competition and its him I want us to judge tonight.

...Discourse with Ben ...

Meet: "Ben A. Workaholic"

Jim: Good evening, Ben. Welcome to "American Idols"

Ben: I’m glad to have taken some time out of my hectic schedule to be here, Jim.

Jim: Tell us a little bit about your schedule, since you mentioned it.

Ben: Well, I’m glad you asked. I’m up and out of the house by 5 every morning. Just a cup of coffee and a rush to the office. Its good to beat the rush hour, you know? You get more done that way. Usually there’s a meeting with my staff at 6 o’clock to talk about what we need to talk about in our 7 o’clock staff meeting. Then, by 8 o’clock we’re ready to start the day.

Jim: You mean you have to have a meeting to discuss what you need to discuss?

Ben: Lots to do, Jim! Lots to do!

Jim: Well, after a long day at work, I’ll bet you really enjoy some down time when you get home.

Ben: You bet! I’m usually home by 10 o’clock in time to catch the Money Market Report on C-Span!

Jim: Well, I mean .. You probably really enjoy time with your family when you get home, right?

Ben: Oh, sure do, Jim! My wife’s usually around doing something around the house while I’m having dinner and watching Money Market Report. BUT before I do anything, Jim, when I get home- the first thing I do is march right up to the kids room and give them a kiss on the cheek! That’s important to me!

Jim: I’ll bet they’re really glad to see you.

Ben: I’m sure they would be if they were ever awake. But they know I’m at the office for them! Roof over their heads! College to plan for! Lots to do, lots to do!

Jim: Well, what about your wife? How’s your relationship with her these days?

Ben: Well, Jim, I’ve got to be honest with you. We’ve been married a long time (you’d have to ask her just how long) and it hasn’t ALL been a bed of roses. There was a time just a few years back when the road to paradise got a little rocky if you know what I mean.

Jim: I understand, we all have ups & downs I guess. What did you do?

Ben: Just what needed to be done, Jim! I came home one day and gave her a shiny, brand new CREDIT CARD, and BOY has that made all the difference in the world!

Jim: That worked, huh?

Ben: You bet! Now she has something to do on the weekends while I’m at the office.

Jim: You’re at the office every weekend?

Ben: Right! You wouldn’t believe how much a fellow can get done when nobody else is around to bother him!

Jim: Well, Ben. Before we let you sit down- and I appreciate you’re participation in our little competition- let me ask you, do you enjoy your work?

Ben: What? What do you mean?

Jim: I mean, is it fun?

Ben: I don’t understand the question. Could you be a little bit more clear?

Jim: Well, Ben, maybe we ought to just conclude by asking you, in your own words why do you believe that YOU should be named America’s #1 ‘idol’?

Ben: Well, Jim, because I’m just one of millions who are living just like I do.

Before we evaluate Ben’s interview, let’s talk just a little bit about idols . . .

We’ve not gotten there yet in our study of the Ten Commandments, but we all remember that the 1st & 2nd commandments state: "You shall have no other gods before me." & "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them!"

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