Moment in the Word

Luke 12:16-20 Then he told them a story: "A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17He said to himself, 'What should I do? I don't have room for all my crops.' 18Then he said, 'I know! I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19And I'll sit back and say to myself, "My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!"' 20"But God said to him, 'You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?'"
Last week, I caught myself fretting about unfulfilled goals and aspirations that were set during my youth. As I considered life events that seemed like failures, my discouragement compelled me to open God's Word. Without any specific text in mind, I simply read the passage where my Bible opened... the Book of Ecclesiastes.
In chapter one, King Solomon set a goal during his youth to be wiser than any man (Eccl. 1:16-17), only to discover that his quest for knowledge was a vain exercise since scholars and fools both die in the very same way (Eccl. 2:14-16). Solomon determined to follow all forms of distractions to find fulfillment (Eccl. 2:1-2). He gave himself to wine, women, and song while accumulating real estate, livestock, servants, and vast wealth (Eccl. 2:2-10). More unhappy than before, all his efforts were empty (Eccl. 2:11).
Sinking very low, Solomon lamented, "I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. 19And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! 20So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world (Eccl. 2:18-20)."
However, during the King's darkest discouragement, a simple awareness suddenly dawned, "Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. 12So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. 14And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God's purpose is that people should fear him (Eccl. 3:11-14, 22)."
Since the future is an illusion and the past is forever gone, life only exists in the present moment. Plans made too far ahead will probably never be realized due to uncontrollable situations that were not factored into our original equation for success. Worrying about previous mistakes is a total waste of time since "What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered (Eccl. 1:15)." Thus, all we will ever have is "Now." Consequently, being overly concerned about either tomorrow or yesterday, diverts our focus from what is presently happening and prevents us from appreciating life.
Jesus illustrated the very same truth when He shared the parable of the rich fool who totally invested himself in tomorrow without taking any pleasure today (Luke 12:16-20). The man kept squandering each precious moment while making bigger and bigger plans until death unexpectedly came and robbed him of the limited time God allowed. Sadly, everything that the fellow worked so hard to enjoy in the future, passed to others who were totally unworthy of his former labor (Luke 12:20, Eccl. 2:18-19).
Embracing today, life holds no better promise than finding God and being happy in Him right now, "Let your manner of life be without covetousness (envy, greed, discontentment, desire), being satisfied with the present; for He Himself has said: "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5, Berean Literal Bible)." It honestly doesn't get any better than this.
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