Softly playing in the background of my living room tonight was the song “Hurt” being covered by Johnny Cash. The chorus immediately took me to the book of Ecclesiastes which my pastor is preaching through right now. Cash lived a very vain and fruitless life up until the end and this song is sung with haunting conviction I think.
what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
My empire of dirt. A man who had the reached the climax of a musical career and could have whatever he wanted, realized that it did not satisfy. Everything he could wrap his fingers around in this life would not bring real and complete satisfaction.
Chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes captures this realization. Verse 24:
For to the one who pleases him (God) God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
If you put the Giver first you will avoid a vain life. If you put the gifts first you will chasing the wind.