…13And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with. 14 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind. (Ecclesiastes 1:13,14)
It is by divine inspiration that the preacher in the Hebrew scriptures (TNK) gives this term to life. To Chase the wind. To live life on a merry go round working either successfully or unsuccessfully, placing all priority on the mundane gratifications under the Sun and missing what is important. What profit has a human being of all their labor? If it is not toward the people in their life and for heavens sake, if not for the Soul and the Souls of our loved ones, what good is it in the end? What profit will the wealth of the world be if not for the love of family, friends and those in need? The everlasting state from the other world responds with “vanity of vanities”. It is not heaven or earth that is vain. It is not the sun or the moon or the stars that are vain, it is not love and relationships that are vain, but rather it is our own pomp. It is our own vanity and ego. It is all our self proclaimed greatness and agendas that are up for scrutiny in the end. For if something has no useful end, it has been a grasping for the wind. If we gain all the riches, all the material goods and even leave a huge will for our children, what good is it if they never really knew us because we were so self involved? It is a life filled with vanity and vanities that force egoism upon us.
Relationships in life and the “EGO-AHOLIC”
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)
At some point in our life we come to important and what we know as, final conclusions. One of them is that when it is all said and done, relationships that begin with family and good proven friends are priority in our life. Sadly some live most of their life without this conclusion. They spend themselves and all their energies building an empire in their head, scratching away at their passion and always too busy to savor those around them. Much too busy to even think about how others are doing.
At a certain point one must consider all they have done and what they may still do. Perhaps you have been competent, perhaps you have accomplished much, but somehow you have lost the feel of love, family, good friends and helping others. Perhaps you have been praised by others that do not know who you really are. God forbid, nothing was gained.
The “Ego-aholic” rarely has time to look in their loved ones eyes and even less time to ask about their life and what is new. A life centered on only ourselves makes for selfish individuals that only care about themselves. You can call this person and ask how they are and they can keep you on the telephone for an hour just talking about their life, never once asking about yours. This person will never just call you to see what is new and moreover, may even complain because you do not call them enough. They seem to see life from a different place and may even victimize themselves convincing themselves that someone else is the selfish one. They cannot see past themselves and sadly when and if they awaken to their error, they will either find everyone distant from them or out of their life and God willing, not through a tragedy.
It is typical of one that is self absorbed to try and justify their actions and behavior even when sometimes deep down they may know they are missing the mark. The ego-aholic has to go somewhere to protect them self and therefore finds justification is a great shield. The justification will infuse selfishness with reasons why they are fine just the way they are. There is no change needed. Nonetheless, the writer describes gratification only being found in the things above the Sun. To have God given purpose, love, destiny and impacting others, especially those assigned to our journey are things found above the Sun.
If your are still breathing, it is not too late
15 What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted. (Ecclesiastes 1:16)
What does this mean? Our past mistakes cannot be straightened out, but they can be fixed. They can be fixed by what we do for the rest of our lives. Sadly, there are mistakes we have all made that cannot be erased, but we can start this very minute fixing what has been made crooked and paving a straight and narrow rest of our life with what really matters. Cherish your family and friends and take the time to look in their eyes and listen to their heart. It is then that when we grasp for life at its fullest, we find it indeed.