The author was listening and responding to a sermon by Senior Pastor Jeffrey Chong of Hope Church Singapore.

“Most things promise more than they deliver.”

10:56am That is true. *Copies it down.*

“When it comes to satisfaction, we often feel like we’re always one step away; if only I had that job, a new phone, a girlfriend/boyfriend, more well-behaved children, or that dream home – then I will be satisfied.”

11:02am Ha – totally true. It never happens! It’s like a messy person going to IKEA to purchase that shelf that will finally keep the room in perfect order – it’s only a matter of time before the real problem is exposed. Having the dream job doesn’t absolve us from hard work, just as being someone’s partner is even more hard work. Will nothing satisfy us then?

“It’s like a dog chasing his own tail – the closer it gets, the further he is.”

11:05am He’s using this example again. But I think it’s perfect. I like dogs but I’d hate to be this dog. When will I learn to stop chasing after pointless things?

“Pleasures without joy is empty. If you feel a sense of restlessness in your spirit – it is because there is more than what pleasures in life can deliver. Life is short. Don’t waste it on hollow things – meaningless things.”

11:10am Meaningless … Are we still in search of meaning these days? But I get the lure of pleasure. When we’re on the other side, peering into the promises of pleasure, we just want to know how it feels like: Wealth promises power, fame promises an exciting life, sex promises love …

He was a king well known for his riches. He endeavoured to find out what people should do with their short time on earth; he was interested in the pleasures of this world and what it can accomplish.”

“Over time, King Solomon built houses, vineyards, took hundreds of concubines, indulged himself in every pleasure he could think of; he worked and gained fortune and treasures, and he was well-respected and did anything that he wanted.”

11:16am Let me guess … he had accomplished all these and he was still not joyful?

“There is probably no one more familiar with hollow things than King Solomon. He concluded, towards the end of his life, that everything is meaningless – all that he thought was good turned out to be hollow.”

11:18am Is there a bit of Solomon in all of us? Perhaps it’s hard for us to take his advice because we want to try it for ourselves too. But it won’t be for free. Our choices create a path, and it can lead to places we don’t want to go. The costs may be higher than what we first thought – just ask Solomon; He wasted his life only to realise that it was all for nothing.

Pleasure on its own is neither evil nor bad – it is a feeling – but is meaningless if we try to find fulfilment from it. Solomon recognised that anything he tried to do apart from God turned out to be meaningless.”

“Joy is found only in God.”

King Solomon made this observation: Some people have wealth, possessions and honour to the extent that they lack nothing that their hearts desire but they did not have the ability to enjoy them – the ability to enjoy whatever God gives to us.

If God does not grant us the ability to enjoy things, it will all feel meaningless (Ecclesiastes 6:2).

If joy has been the elusive element that we have been searching for in our pursuit for pleasures, what’s left is for us to return to God because we can find our meaning only in our Maker who formed us and knows us.

At the end of our lives – will we say that it has all been meaningless? Or will we put an end to our chasing so we can rest in God’s joy? God’s arms are open to us, however we come to Him – as long as we come.