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Under the Sun

In a week, I will turn forty-two. What I used to think of as “old age” doesn’t seem quite so old anymore. With age, I have become a bit more reflective and I’m not always encouraged by my reflection. In college, when I was preparing for a life of ministry, I thought that I would be entirely different at forty-two. I thought that I would be better. I thought that I would no longer struggle with certain temptations and besetting sins. I thought that things would change but in many ways, things have stayed the same.

When I read Ecclesiastes, I read the perspective of a man who likely had similar thoughts. He thought that his power, wealth, and wisdom would make a tremendous difference in his life and that he wouldn’t face many of the challenges that he had faced as a young man, but that didn’t happen. What his power, wealth, and wisdom brought was perspective and realism and he realistically wrote, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” He discovered that you cannot control this crazy life and worldly wisdom doesn’t have an answer for it. The only answer for “life under the sun” is life above the sun.

Life above the sun is a life that accepts not being in control because you have confidence in a God who reigns. Life above the sun is a life that affirms mystery because you know that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God”. Life above the sun is a life that embraces the present because you have faith that God has already established the future. Life above the sun is a life that acknowledges the ongoing reality of sin because you possess hope in a life of glory, where sin, temptation, weakness, and pain will be no more.

As I grow older and reflect on my life, my life “under the sun”, I am finding encouragement that what I see isn’t the final reality. There is a greater reality found in Christ and he is always at work for his glory and my good.