“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” – Ecclesiastes 1v2
The big names always grab the headlines – Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Heath Ledger, Janis Joplin, and Marilyn Monroe. When you read those names you know the connection immediately. Each of these young adults, who apparently had everything, died early tragic deaths. Each of them died in what were, at best, tragic circumstances. We don’t really have to say much more.
Then there are names like ‘AG.’ ‘Who is that?’ you might ask? AG was one of the thousands of ‘unknowns’ who die in the same way. It is more personal for me when it comes to AG. He was my literacy student who, on a Saturday night a few months ago, jumped into a reservoir and drowned. Life, at 18, had just become too much to bear. The benefits of death, in his mind at least, outweighed the benefits of living. There was nothing worth living for.
Though all of these people had their lives ahead of them, they either took their own lives or put themselves in such a setting that their lives were under threat. They had lives, which at least for that moment in time, seemed so empty that they were not worth living.
Solomon could identify with these folks. ‘Vanity of vanities’ he wrote, ‘all is vanity.’ Or, to make it a little clearer, ‘Emptiness of emptiness, all is emptiness.’
In this amazing little book we have a record of Solomon’s attempt to find something to fill the emptiness.
He is going to give is the answer. Stick around.