I love the expression, “A Chasing After the Wind”! It brings up a word picture of someone going full tilt through life chasing something that is never meant to be caught. It is an impossibility to chase the wind. Sure, with modern technology we can “harness” the wind by allowing it’s power to spin turbines that become an alternative energy power source, but still the wind can never be caught. It can’t be held in your hand. To try to grab hold of it is a totally futile attempt at best and yet many of us try to do just that.
Wise Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2 admitted that he chased after the wind. Someone called it the “I” Factor. Notice how many “I‘s” are in the passage: “I tried cheering myself with wine,…I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves…I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself…I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well – the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me…I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure…” (vs. 3-10)
But listen to his words at the end of this: “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” (vs.11)
Solomon was “chasing after the wind” with pursuits that only would result in temporary enjoyment and short-term pleasure. That is what is meant by “living under the sun”. Earthly pursuits under the sun bring only temporary comfort. We may delight in them for a short time but ultimately we must be prepared to give it all up when our earthly bodies die.
Solomon understood that…eventually. It took him some time though. He chased after the wind through most of his life and it cost him dearly. He finally understood towards the end of his life that he should have focused more on living a life for God. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
I remember after my Mom passed away from a two year battle with breast cancer my father and I had the unenviable task of going through her belongings. I’ll have to write another time the crazy things my Mom saved during her lifetime but pertinent to this topic was when my Dad opened Mom’s wallet and took out all the contents and spread it on the table in front of me. She had about thirty dollars and change, her driver’s license, several coupons, pictures of my brother and I and several credit cards. For a few minutes my Dad just stared at it all and then he calmly went into the kitchen and came back with a scissor. For the next few minutes he cut her credit cards to pieces. All he said was, “She won’t be needing these anymore.”
It was true. Mom’s life under the sun was over. Her life with the Son had begun.