Have you ever forgotten your keys? Just today my wife called me because she had locked herself out of the house. She had left to go pick up our kindergartener from school, and when she came back, she realized she had forgotten to take her house keys with her.
I had compassion for her of course because I forget things all the time too. It is easy to do that, especially when you have 5 kids like we do.
Our house keys are important. And yet we forget them.
The same is true of God. Our relationship with him is so important, and yet we forget him.
In fact, sometimes it seems like the world has been contorted to make us forget him.
There is always something new to learn, something new to buy. These things are enjoyable but they are fleeting. Ecclesiastes explores this dilemma. The author calls himself the Teacher, and he tells us “I observed everything going on UNDER THE SUN, and really, it is all meaningless – like chasing after the wind.” (1:14).
He repeats this phrase 27 times.
- Under the sun, “history merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing …is truly new” (1:9).
- Under the sun, “There was nothing really worthwhile” (2:11)
- Under the sun “there is evil in the courtroom” (3:16).
- Under the sun, “the oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless” (4:1).
This leads him to despair.
He writes, “So I came to hate life because everything done here UNDER THE SUN is so troubling. Everything is meaningless – like chasing after the wind.” (2:17).
Can you relate to this?
Driving the same commute, day after day, feels monotonous. Paying the same bills, month after month, feels monotonous. Making the same New Year’s Resolutions, year after year, feels monotonous. Especially when you see the same imperfections and blindspots persisting year after year, you begin to believe that there is no hope.
And yet the teacher does not leave us in the pit. He finishes his poetic book with a solution.
He tells us in chapter 12 verse 1. “REMEMBER YOUR CREATOR” This is how you escape from being locked UNDER THE SUN.
When you are in the valley of boredom or despair, and you need to rise above the battle- “Remember your Creator” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
If we continue to look at reality in a mono-dimensional way and only take into account our life from a strictly humanistic, naturalistic perspective, then we truly will despair.
BUT, if we will expand our view of reality to encompass he who is above and beyond the sun – namely the Creator of the Sun – we will discover a new perspective that can give us hope.
“Remember your Creator” says the teacher. Remember that
- “with God all things are possible”(Luke 18:27).
- “If anyone is in Jesus that person is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
In addition to having 5 kids I also have the advantage of having come of age during the 90’s. And one of the defining features of the 90’s was of course the blockbuster Matrix trilogy. Believe it or not, the Matrix movies had multiple Biblical themes (see- http://bit.ly/2mfreWi)
Anyway, in the final battle scene, the hero is fighting against the forces of evil and they are about to overwhelm him. He is in a plane being flown by Trinity (see I told you it had biblical themes). Just when they are about to crash and burn, they pull up on the throttle and they soar up up up above the smoke of the battle. They climb so high that they go above the clouds. And for one brief second, they see the sun shining in all its brilliance. This breather allows them to continue fighting.
This is what it is like to remember your Creator. Go up above the turmoil, and the smoke, and the monotony, and the pain of this life locked under the sun, and look at God’s brilliant face.
I encourage you to take a minute today to tune everything else out. Read those verses above from Luke and 2 Corinthians and pray.
As Charles Spurgeon has said, “True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.”
Pray until you begin to Remember Your Creator because forgetting him is even worse that forgetting your keys.
If you track this idea into the New Testament you see that Jesus becomes the one we are to remember. He tells his disciples before they take the last supper “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).
And Paul’s charge to Timothy holds true for us as well…
“Remember Jesus Christ, Risen from the dead!” (2 Timothy 2:8).
Remember him in your preaching, remember him in your resting, remember him in the everyday.