What’s It All About

Life can be so strange that I’m sure everyone at one time or another has asked the question, “What’s it all about?”  King Solomon who was a very wise man wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes about life. He repeats one saying over and over and that is “It is all vanity.” 

Solomon begins his writings with this, “What advantage does a person have in  all his work which he does under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; and hurrying to its place it rises there again. Blowing toward the south, then turning toward the north, the wind continues swirling along; and on its circular courses the wind returns. All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again. All things are wearisome; no one can tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing. What has been, it is what will be, and what has been done, it is what will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” Solomon tells us that though the generations have come and gone the earth still remains. This is true, but every generation leaves its mark for good or for bad. It’s like every generation stands on the shoulders of the previous generation. What each person does in life matters even if we think that we are insignificant. The older you get the more you realize just how many people have come and gone in your lifetime, even if you only knew that person for just a moment. Solomon saw the mundane part of life. If all we see is that life is one vicious circle then we will only become cynical. 

Songwriter Burt Bacharach wrote the title song for the movie Alfie and it was sung by Dionne Warwick. This song became very popular in the mid sixties, because of the questions that it raised. It goes like this: “What’s it all about, Alfie? Is it just for the moment we live? What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie? Are we meant to take more than we give? Or are we meant to be kind? And if only fools are kind, Alfie then I guess it is wise to be cruel and if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie what will you lend on an old golden rule? As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, Alfie I know there’s something much more, something even non-believers can believe in. I believe in love, Alfie without true love we just exist, Alfie.”

Yes, we only live for a moment compared to time and history. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 39:4-6, “Please, Lord, show me my future. Will I soon be gone? You made my life short, so brief that the time means nothing to you. Human life is but a breath, and it disappears like a shadow. Our struggles are senseless; we store up more and more, without ever knowing  who will get it all.” The Prophet Isaiah writes in Isaiah 39:6-8, “ A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.”

If life is so short then there has to be a purpose in life. I think the song writer was correct, for true love is the whole purpose to life. The Golden Rule is very simple and we should all live by it, it simply says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Can you imagine what life would be like if everyone lived by this rule? But unfortunately this is not the case. Today we think that everything is owed to us. We think that we have some right to take what we want, live how we want and do what we want. This is fine if you live on an island by yourself, but in society we must respect one another or else we will have nothing but chaos and this is exactly what we have today. We look at things through the eyes of deception. Yes, we are all the same, we all have flesh and blood, we all have to breathe the same air and one day we will all die. But what we do between being born and dying makes a difference to all of us who live on this planet. You may not realize it, but it is true. If you live your life doing good, then people will have been affected for the good, but if you live your life for the bad , then people will have been affected for the bad. The good brings life, but the bad brings death. You may say, “That is extreme” but is it? Let’s put it in these terms, love and hate, light and darkness.  

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 tells us what love is,  “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.  Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth.  Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. Love will never end.”

Romans 12:9-10 says, “Your love must be real. Hate what is evil. Do only what is good.  Love each other in a way that makes you feel close like brothers and sisters. And give each other more honor than you give yourself.”

 1 John 2:10-11, “Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.  But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Job 24:14-17 tells us this, “The murderer arises at dawn; he kills the poor and the needy, and at night he is like a thief. The eye of the adulterer watches for twilight, saying, ‘No eye will see me.’ and he disguises his face. In the darkness they break into houses, they shut themselves up by day; they do not know the light. For the morning is the same to him as thick darkness, for he is familiar with the terrors of thick darkness.”

1 John 3:11-15 says, “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one, and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.  Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Yes, love is the purpose of life and to be truly happy, one must love.

1 John 3 :17-18 tells us,  “Whoever has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, but closes his heart of compassion from him, how can the love of God remain in him?  My little children, let us love not in word and speech, but in action and truth.” You see, your life can make a difference in another person’s life. We can lift another person up if we love. But if we hate  we can destroy another person and tear them down. Society must walk in love and then we all benefit from it. When people do good then people also prosper, but when people do bad then we all suffer the loss. 

Matthew 12:33-37 tells us,  “If you want good fruit, you must make the tree good. If your tree is not good, it will have bad fruit. A tree is known by the kind of fruit it produces.  You snakes! You are so evil. How can you say anything good? What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts.  Those who are good have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil.  I tell you that everyone will have to answer for all the careless things they have said. This will happen on the day of judgment.  Your words will be used to judge you. What you have said will show whether you are right or whether you are guilty.”

Today you can decide what you will do in your life. Will you leave behind a trail of good or a trail of bad, a legacy that brought life or a legacy that brought death. What is it all about, if it is not about love? We only have a moment to live and only a moment to decide, for like the grass, we are withering and dying. The question is will I bring forth good fruit or bad.?  That is what it’s all about as we make our mark on society. It’s our turn, our time, our generation to determine what it’s all about.

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