For those of you who know me well, you know that I have a passion for discipleship. What does that mean? Well, in short, I want to play a role, whether big or small, in pointing others to Jesus. I especially love when this passion of mine collides with the younger generation.
That is why I am SO excited about today’s blog post, which will be a three-part series this summer, written by my friend Mackenzie Ness. I met this young gal last Fall, and from the day I met her, she has amazed me with her passion for Jesus and her love for people. She’s the oldest soon-to-be freshman in college that I’ve ever met, and I’m grateful for her presence in my life. She recently was accepted into Moody Bible Institute (my Alma Mater!), and it has been an incredible joy for me to be a part of the process with her.
She came to me earlier this year and asked if she could be a guest blogger for me this Summer, and I jumped at the opportunity. So, below are her words, not mine, as she has dove head first into the book of Ecclesiastes. Part #2 and part #3 will be coming later this Summer. Enjoy, my friends!
This world is so exciting, and culture is constantly changing while technology continues to develop. I will not be surprised when cars become driver-less and robots replace maids. It seems like every day something new is introduced: a new car, a new type of social media, a new trend.
Not only is materialism a never-ending cycle but so are world happenings. Politics, wars, human suffering: history repeating itself. In our personal lives we are expected to move up in our careers, have a family, and “be happy.” But can true happiness be reached when pursuing after the world?
“All is vanity…A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever, the sun rises and the sun goes down… There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-5).
Isn’t that kind of terrifying? Maybe even a bit morbid? That everything remains the same? Even with our constant development we are chasing after the wind and remaining stagnant. I love how blunt King Solomon is in Ecclesiastes, “all is meaningless,” all fades away like vapor. In the scheme of the world, our lives are so small and insignificant. Yet we still are obsessed with our daily problems and achieving our goals. But will the income we make, the phones we have, or the place we live have meaning? Ultimately, a generation will be born, people will replace us, and they will pursue another meaningless life.
This idea is also so freeing! It releases us from the pressures and expectations to be “successful” because success is seen as the amount of wealth or role in society that a person has.
Success is a life of love.
I feel like Ecclesiastes is such a beautiful book in the Bible. It explicitly states how ridiculous all of our pettiness is. How we become so focused on aspects of life that have such little importance.
That does not mean that we are not to enjoy the life we have, but to refocus it.
“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful as long as they live also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).
To be joyful “as long as they live,” to not be overwhelmed by the pettiness but to enjoy and take pleasure in life. To have friendships. If everything will pass, we might as well find joy in it. We were not created to sulk but to love.
The time that I am the happiest is when I am sitting at a coffee shop having a conversation with someone, sipping my coffee and chatting about the beauty in life, the hardships, and God’s grace. When we toil, when we work, we should do it with happiness. We should not hate the life we live but embrace it.
I understand that life is ultimately meaningless, that pursuing after what the world values ultimately won’t bring me true satisfaction or fulfillment. But pursuit after God will. Follow me over these next three months as I dive deeper in to the book of Ecclesiastes.
My name is Mackenzie Ness. I am an adventurer who loves people, a world-traveler, and I find joy in reading and writing. I recently graduated high school and will soon make a life-altering change, moving to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute. Coffee and conversations are my passion, and I love Jesus!