“This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind? All their days they eat in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger” – Ecclesiastes 5:16-17 (NIV).
There is an experience which most of us would rather avoid. Every now and then you hear of someone being sold “air”! This often involves land transactions where one signs for what appears to be legitimate land title certificates, only to discover they were fake. There is actually a famous case where a Permanent Secretary of a Local Government signed for delivery of bicycles. Everyone was happy. But after the central bank had released billions of shillings, the intended beneficiaries meant to deliver disappeared in the thin air. The government of Uganda had just paid for air!
Being sold to air can be temporary experience, maybe one can recover from and do better after a bad experience. But, then what if your life is “sold air” all through? Think of how much toil many people give in to acquiring material things, only in the finality of things, to leave them behind. In some cases all that wealth one set his heart out on building is quickly squandered by heirs. One of the more striking and quite sad things driving across highways in Uganda is to see mansions that once glittered and were the envy of all, long abandoned and covered with bush!
King Solomon, once one of the richest monarchs, had a revelation and wrote, “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..” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). He was right, for think of President Mobutu of Zaire and his once glittering monuments he raised in his birth place, Gbdolite, which all today are in ruins, a shadow of once glorious days.
This is why the Apostle Paul reminds us, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain “ (1 Cor 15:58). One can easily end up with a life of “chasing after wind” because in the end it all just crumbles away like a castle of sand. On the other hand where one invest his life “on things above, not on earthly things” (Col 3:2), he is assured of “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
Today, may you be encouraged in your work for the Lord, which lasts forever, unlike the “wind chasers!”
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, what a joy to know that by serving you I have an investment that is beyond fading and so help me to set my eyes “on things above”, this I pray in Jesus’s name.