The repetitive nature of the daily news is an indication of how old a person is getting and hopefully an impetus to garner some wisdom from it all. Recently I realized I’ve been ingesting a regurgitation of the same sound bites for over 50 years. How could it be that I’ve spent my entire life monitoring global hotspots in Africa and the Middle East, sword rattling over oil supplies and nuclear weapons, uncertain market forecasts, political campaign mudslinging, dastardly mind-boggling crimes and the latest woes of local sports teams?
I couldn’t help but think of the writer of Ecclesiastes, who looking back over his long life threw his hands up in frustration and said “Meaningless, meaningless . . . Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (1:2) Then he asks the question of the ages: “What does a man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” (1:3) This question essentially frames the answers he paints on the canvas of the rest of the book
I’ve taken some of those brush strokes of wisdom to embellish a sampling of what I’ve learned from my many years of making meaning of the repetitious nature of life.
I am calling them twelve things I’ve lived long enough to know . . .
1. Increasing the number of channels will never solve the problem of why there isn’t anything worth watching on TV. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. (1:8)
2. Living through a Southeast Asian war, a cold war and several Gulf wars has convinced me there will always be oppressors and attempts to dethrone them. History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. (1:9 NLT) Jesus: You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. (Matthew 24:6)
3. Doing what you love to do is the most rewarding employment there is. So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is why we are here. (3:22 NLT)