The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us there is nothing we can carry in our hands from this world to the next. Egyptian Pharaohs tried. Given the evidence found in King Tut’s tomb when it was opened, we’d have to say they weren’t successful.
It won’t matter how much stuff we amass…wealth, possessions, accolades, awards…nothing we can carry in our hands will follow us to heaven. The only things of value which will have our names on them are things we cannot carry.
Sounds a little contradictory to our way of human thinking.
The impact we have on others, the memories we leave behind of our loving kindness and sacrifice, the investments we make in another’s life. Those are the things which last and go before us. We can’t carry those things in our hands. Those things are written on our hearts and the hearts of others.
What we invest our time and money in shows a great deal about our priorities.The writer of Ecclesiastes understood that.
Solomon, King David’s son, was the richest king in Israel’s history. He had wealth, fame, and waaay too many wives and concubines. He had everything he could image, still he wrote about chasing after the wind. Meaningless, meaningless was how he described the things around him.
At the end of his book, Solomon gave this conclusion. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Solomon was unable to carry any of the wealth and riches he amassed with him when he died. None of his chasing after the wind went with him. It was all left behind for others to use and dispose of as they desired.
Same with us.
Our treasure is in our investment in the lives around us. It is in doing the will of God. Jesus told us we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as our self.
Those are things we cannot carry in our hands.
Those are the things we carry in our heart.
Where have we set our priorities? Are we amassing things we cannot carry in our hands?
In my early teens I read a poem written by missionary C. T. Studd. Although faded after all these years, the words from that poem are still there. I believe Solomon would find truth in the words.
Only one life ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.
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Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands. Ecclesiastes 5:15 (NIV)
I wish you well.
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