For to the one who pleases him 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.Ecclesiastes 2:26
Perspective is everything. Solomon draws our attention to the fact that, for the sinner—the person who lives their life apart from God—all of their efforts are ultimately vanity! What is the point of great effort and success if you aren’t around to enjoy the fruit of your efforts? For the righteous, however, those same tasks have become infused with purpose and intention. We have a reason to work, to stretch ourselves, to expend effort!
So many in this world are using this time of self-isolation to “reorient” themselves, to rethink their lives and their work. This is good, but if they reorient themselves to anything apart from God, it is ultimately vanity. Let us ensure that, as Christians, we remember the fact that our work isn’t for building our personal kingdom here on earth—it’s about maximizing the glory of God in every way. That will infuse our remote meetings with greater purpose and conviction, and, I think, draw us to evangelize more clearly towards those whose efforts are being wasted.
The “Isolation Introspection” series started as an opportunity for me to encoruage members of our Bible Study with daily reflections from the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan during the 2020 “Stay at Home” mandate in Los Angeles. I’ve moved them here so that they can be shared easily, and perhaps benefit others. I hope you enjoy!