I spent many childhood hours in the tiny town of Sallyards. My grandparents were some of the last people to live in this almost forgotten spot in the oil patch.
One of my vivid memories is of a black cocker spaniel. Hardly a Summer went by that he wasn’t snake bit, and every time I visited he entertained me with the perplexing habit of chasing his tail. I never figured out why he did it, but I never tried to get him to stop it because I laughed every time I watched him do it.
At the time, I had no idea who Winston Churchill was, but a quote of his defined the tail-chasing display. Churchill said: It’s a riddle, wrapped up in a mystery, inside an enigma.
As I’ve wandered through life, I’ve come to wonder about several things:
- Why can you put 2 socks in the dryer, but only 1 comes out?
- How can a black cow eat green grass and give white milk?
- Does eating natural foods cause you to die a natural death?
- If an illiterate person eats alphabet soup, does he know what he is eating?
Even Solomon, the wise sage of the Old Testament, found life to be perplexing: Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 14).
The same gold and silver that garnished Solomon’s life tarnished his wisdom and life became meaningless. His worldly affection was somewhat of a genetic infection. In a like father like son scenario, he nearly succumbed to the seductive power of the world. His father David wrote: But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked (Psalm 73).
After much thought and consideration, Solomon realized there is no lasting happiness apart from the living God. He ended Ecclesiastes with these words: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil (Eccl. 12).
Here’s a thought to keep you thinking: If you spend your life running in circles, you’ll travel a familiar path, but you won’t get far. You may end up like Solomon–dizzy and disoriented.