Summary: This backpack I am wearing has stones, rocks within it that weekly we are exposing, and laying them down, giving them to God. Well, today we are talking about the weight of trivial Pursuits, the weight of the pursuing meaningless things.
Drop the Weight of Trivial Pursuits
Over the past few weeks we have been talking about dropping the weight, dropping the weight of junk we are carrying that tire us out, wear us down, and cause all sorts of problems in our relationships with each other, and our relationship with God.
This backpack I am wearing has stones, rocks within it that weekly we are exposing, and laying them down, giving them to God.
We have talked about the weight of sin.
We have talked about the weight of our tongues.
We talked about the weight of bitterness.
We talked about the weight of Jealousy. How we can find ourselves wishing God had made us differently. Envying others and the things they have, while being ungrateful for all God has given to us.
Well, today we are talking about the weight of trivial Pursuits, the weight of the pursuing meaningless things.
The BIG question “What things are important and what things are trivial?”
Illus. Christmas night 2002, Jack Whittaker had five out of five numbers in the West Virginia Power ball drawing.
Jack Whittaker had just won $314 million, the largest undivided lottery jackpot in history. He took the one lump payment and received $113 million after taxes.
Listen closely to this part. He tithed, gave 1/10th of his winnings to his church. That’s 11.3 million…to his church.
Jack was a solid church attender and respected member of his church. Over the next few months he frequented a strip club called the pink pony, and was picked up for a DUI.
Over the next 2 years Jack’s marriage would dissolve, his granddaughter, who he had raised, would die from a drug overdose, his business deals would lead to numerous lawsuits, and close friends would abandon him, as his winnings changed him to the point where many couldn’t stand to be around him any more.
If I only had more money, I would be happy. Ever said it?
Man, if I won the lottery, I would be set.
What is important, what is worth wanting, chasing, pursuing?
We need to take a lesson from Solomon – he wanted to know what was really important in life. And in his search, he tried everything.
Listen to what he discovered. “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”
Solomon chased after everything in his life. He pursued Science, philosophy, humor, drinking, partying, women, architecture, gardening, possessions, wealth, music…this guy tried it all!
He probably had the worst mid life crisis ever.
And he recorded his journey in the book of Ecclesiastes.
The purpose of this book was to show us what is really important. This is what he learned…
Solomon discovered the emptiness of wisdom.
Eccl 1:18 “For in much wisdom is much grief: and the one who increases in knowledge increases in sorrow.”
I would have loved to have shown that verse to my dad when I was in school.
He’s not saying that knowledge is bad, But that there is a weight that comes when we are obsessed with wisdom, or when we believe that the pursuit of more wisdom will satisfy us.
Here is Solomon’s conclusion about wisdom:
Eccl 2:16 (NIV) For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!”
There have been lots and lots of great thinkers and wise people who have gone before us. And some have been remembered, but most have been forgotten.
How many of you have you ever walked into a building named after someone? When I was in college every building was in memory of someone smart, or dedicated to someone who had accomplished something.
Most of us have no idea who the person was, or what they did. A generation or two later, and for the most part, their contributions, their lives, are forgotten.
Solomon discovered the emptiness of pleasure. (slide)
Solomon tried : Humor, drinking, building projects, cultural arts, dance, music and singing, having fun…
His conclusion: “This too is vanity”. Worthless, meaningless.
In fact, Solomon uses the term “Meaningless” 35 times.
• Literally, it comes from the word that means breath. It refers to things that are fleeting, transient, futile. One translation uses the word “smoke.” It’s here, you can see it, but in a moment it’s gone.
I’m not trying to stand in front of you today and convince you that pleasure is not fun. Sure it is. That’s why it’s called pleasure! Because it is pleasing, and pleasurable! But what I am telling you today is that it doesn’t last!