Friday, March 02, 2007

Vanity of Vanities

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
(Ecc 1:2)

Do you ever stop to ponder the discussions you have on a daily basis with others in the world? With coworkers, as well as friends and family, if the topic is not business related, it is almost always something to do with entertainment or fleshly desires.

There is a time and a place to discuss beauty and improvements to the home, the car, etc. that the Lord has entrusted to our care. Yet, when those topics are the constant subject of all our communications, something is definitely awry. Some men seem to only want to discuss sports. Some are wrapped up in hunting, fishing, computers, or woodworking. I live in a neighborhood where we have a private airstrip. Though I am not a pilot, most of those in our community are. So, guess what? When we have neighborhood get-togethers, the topic of aviation is always raised. Now many of these things are not wrong in and of themselves. It is a God given characteristic of man to be creative, and to use the resources God has given him to take dominion over this earth. However, when our focus becomes so targeted on these things, we move from merely dominating the earth to a form of idolatry whereby we spend all our time and energy focused on these external “things.”

My favorite topics of discussion are things of scripture. I love to discuss the biblical ways to raise children, and how to be the husband God has called me to be. Topics of planning include ministry opportunities whereby God’s Word may be shared freely. Is this not the purpose of life? When I discuss the scripture, it’s not only that I enjoy it as a hobby. Rather, I am fulfilling the purpose for which God has created me.

It is so refreshing when I meet a friend, and he brings up topics pertaining to scripture or to the things of God. I recently attended a technical seminar in San Francisco. I expected to be on my own, exploring a very materialistic city during the evenings. Yes, I did a bit of that. I took a very interesting tour of Alcatraz and learned a thing or two that I was able to pass on to my children in their homeschool education. However, one very bright spot of this trip was that I discovered a former colleague on the plane with me traveling to the same conference. Previously, we had not really discussed much of the things of God, as our communication tended to revolve around business. Yet, he knew that I am a believer, and he told me of his renewed effort to read the Bible through in a year. He asked me a few questions and shared some of the things he was learning. Friend, this is the essence of life. These are the marks of someone truly committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I rejoice in discovering that my friend is more than just a nominal Christian. I praise God that he is learning all he can in order to lead his family well. I look forward to continuing our friendship through email, and carrying on meaningful conversation regarding the things of God.

When I left Nashville, I left behind similar friends that I worked with at LifeWay. The Word of God tells us that you will “know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:18) What are your fruits? Are the only things that you ever talk about sports, cars, homes, travel, computers, etc., etc., etc., all related to things of this world? Or do you spend the time to study the scripture, read works written by God’s people, and discuss these things with other believers? Is your life “vanity of vanities” or do you live your life with purpose and conviction, capturing every moment for the Glory of God. Ponder that today as you walk by the way.

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