This week I was reminded that apart from God everything is vanity. I can achieve intellectual pursuits, gain the world’s riches, and obtain fame and notoriety but in the end they all lead to emptiness and vanity. Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, knew this all too well and said the ultimate purpose in life is to fear God and obey his commandments.
Paul challenged the great thinkers of his day in Acts 17. These men were great thinkers and were highly respected and yet they “didn’t get it.” Paul told them that God created all things so that people would search for God “and perhaps grope for him and find him” (NRSV). Knowing God brings indescribable fulfillment.
In my devotion this morning I read William Law’s definition of prayer as “the rising of the soul out of the the vanity of time into the riches of eternity.”
If life apart from God is in vain, then shouldn’t we take every opportunity to draw closer to him. Too often our emotions keep us from God as we just don’t feel like praying. Perhaps our intellect, too, keeps us from calling out to him in prayer. We mistakenly believe that God isn’t listening or doesn’t care enough to answer us so we cease to reach out to him. Ultimately, it is our will that determines our actions…will we be faithful to rise above the vanity on earth and reach into the riches of eternity with prayer even when we don’t have “the want to”?
A dear friend was widowed for the second time in six years this month. There are nine children. Let that sit with you for a minute. How dare we get so caught up in the mundane things of life that we fail to cry out to God on behalf of our brothers and sisters like her who are suffering intense pain?
I am asking God to give me a renewed passion for prayer. May it be like air to my lungs. May I not settle for vanity on earth but strive daily to fear God and obey him. Will you join me in this journey?