The eye never has enough of seeing. Ecclesiastes 1:8
Frank Borman commanded the first space mission that circled the moon. He wasn’t impressed. The trip took two days both ways. Frank got motion sickness and threw up. He said being weightless was cool—for thirty seconds. Then he got used to it. Up close he found the moon drab and pockmarked with craters. His crew took pictures of the gray wasteland, then became bored.
Frank went where no one had gone before. It wasn’t enough. If he quickly tired of an experience that was out of this world, perhaps we should lower our expectations for what lies in this one. The teacher of Ecclesiastes observed that no earthly experience delivers ultimate joy. “The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing” (1:8). We may feel moments of ecstasy, but our elation soon wears off and we seek the next thrill.
Frank had one exhilarating moment, when he saw the earth rise from the darkness behind the moon. Like a blue and white swirled marble, our world sparkled in the sun’s light. Similarly, our truest joy comes from the Son shining on us. Jesus is our life, the only ultimate source of meaning, love, and beauty. Our deepest satisfaction comes from out of this world. Our problem? We can go all the way to the moon, yet still not go far enough.
When have you felt the most joy? Why didn’t it last? What can you learn from its fleeting nature?
Jesus, shine the light of Your love on me.
One of the key themes of Ecclesiastes is found in the phrase “under the sun.” It’s found in today’s reading in verses 3 and 9, as well as twenty-seven other times in the book. What does it mean? It refers to that which is done on earth according to the system, values, and mindset of this world. It sets what happens “under the sun” in contrast to that which is rooted in and resonates with the heart of heaven. Since Ecclesiastes is a book of despair, the point is that we don’t find true meaning or purpose until we begin to live according to the heart of our Father in heaven, as opposed to the broken systems of this world.