The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)
Scott was only twenty-six years old when he died. Although he grew up in a Christian home, during his teens and early twenties he went through a period of rebellion and spiritual searching. His life changed when the doctors discovered a brain tumor. Surgery brought a brief remission, but then the cancer returned.
As the months passed, his faith increased even as his physical condition worsened. He began to seek the Lord as never before. The Word of God became sweet to him. He became bold in his witness, especially to his many friends. He asked God to use him to reach others so that he could point people to Christ no matter how long he lived.
God answered the request. But several months later Scott died.
During the funeral, his younger sister talked about how much she loved him, how as a young girl she wanted to be like him, and how exasperating he could be at times. Then the cancer came. And she saw a difference so profound that it changed everything. Her brother, she said, had figured out what life is all about. Then she said this: “Life is nothing without God.” Scott had shown her that it doesn’t matter how long you live or how much money you have or even how well you do in your career. His faith at the end spoke one simple message: Life is nothing without God.
When I stood up to deliver the message a few minutes later, I didn’t have to say very much. I simply repeated what she said one more time: Life is nothing without God.
I then made this simple application. If you live for eighty years but don’t discover that truth, you’ve missed the very reason for your own existence. If you should earn a million dollars-ten million dollars-and have hundreds of friends and the praise of your contemporaries, if you have all that but don’t figure out this basic truth, you’re still in spiritual kindergarten.
Life is nothing without God. Everything else is just details. Your career, your education, your degrees, your money, your fame, your accomplishments, your long-range goals, your dreams, your possessions, your friendships-they’re all just details. If you don’t figure out that God is the central truth of the universe, you will spend your days mired in details, drifting along with no clear purpose. That’s the ultimate “vanity” that causes life to be meaningless.Have you discovered what life is all about? Life is nothing without God. Everything else is just details.
O God, show me what life is all about so that I won’t waste my years on things that don’t really matter. Amen.