You’re So Vain (You Probably Think This Blog Is About You!)

I recently had a car break down.  Every summer my vehicle feels the need to declare it’s hatred for me.  I’ll just be plugging along the highway with a bazillion cars behind me then, WHAMO!, all of a sudden I’m blocking rush hour traffic. 

But at least I can cook eggs on the road while waiting for a tow in our lovely 100+ degree summer paradise! 

To be honest, I’m kind of a weird guy because I’m not “in” to cars that much.  All that really matters to me, especially after living the episode I just described, is getting behind the wheel of something that will be nice to me, be faithful to me, just WORK for me!  Is that too much to ask for? 

A car that works is almost like encountering a miracle with my driving history. 

So I’m happy to say that I purchased a new vehicle back in June, and I think she’s the one!  Even though everything mechanical has a 100% failure rate, I feel good in this car.  And even though this car will one day be buried, I thoroughly enjoy utilizing something that seems to last.  Is that not what we all desire?  Something that will keep plugging along.  Is that not the reason for warranties?  Is this not what justifies purchasing a membership at Costco? 

* FYI I worked at Costco for three years, and no joke saw someone return an eleven year old fridge!  “What seems to be the problem, sir?”  “Well, it doesn’t work anymore.”  It was one of the most absurd conversations I’ve ever eaves-dropped on.    

But here’s the point…    


I just finished leading a study through the book of Ecclesiastes and it has rocked me.  This book is not for the faint of heart!  You will not find many portions of this text in any devotional book.  But it’s brutal assault on this world’s superficiality is such a breath of fresh air. 

The spearhead for this attack comes from the book’s premise:  “Vanity of vanities!  All is vanity.”  Our modern society understands “vanity” to be pride or conceit but the Hebrew term (hebel) is actually a word picture for “smoke.” 

Everything “under the sun” (a common phrase in the book) is smoke, or better put, temporary and fleeting!  Being “under the sun” is to be in this temporal world with its transient pleasures and terrible pathologies.  The only thing that will last, according to the author, is that which resides outside a reality labeled “under the sun.”

Take Home: I encourage you to read Ecclesiastes chapter one and tell me what you think (cuz it’s a little crazy!).  Do you agree that all is like smoke, here one moment and then gone the next, or do you believe that your life and the things that make up your life will last forever? 

Do you ever contemplate how temporal things of this world truly are?  If you’ve ever wondered, “Where has the time gone?”, you probably have.

I want a car that will last.  I want all good things in my life to endure, but according to Ecclesiastes all that is “under the sun” has an expiration.  Only that which is beyond “the sun” will last. 

Either this is the most profound reference point for gaining our meaning and purpose as humans in this world, or we hopelessly just have this three score and ten years to vainly cling to our temporal treasures and then we’re worm food!

“This chest is full of memories
Of gold and silver tears
I’ll give you more to own than all of this
And I’ll give you more than years…”

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