Chasing 2008

As 2008 comes to an end can we say we’ve done anything worthwhile in the past year?  Or ever?

Ecclesiastes 4:16 (NLT)
Endless crowds stand around him, but then another generation grows up and rejects him, too. So it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.

It’s always bothered me that most people don’t know the difference between passable and great.  There’s a strange sociology behind paying stars (actors, musicians, athletes, entertainers in general, politicians) insane amounts of money when people don’t know if the star is really better than the guy on the street corner.  In college I worked at a major department store and often observed this ‘mob’ mentality where one department or area would be crowded with customers bumping into each other, waiting in line and sometimes fighting over merchandise while the area next to it would be empty.  Then the crowd would move on to the next area together.  There would occasionally be the loaner who would do the opposite of the mob and consequently not have to wait in any lines.  It’s as if the average person, being clueless, just assumes the crowd is there for a good reason (a good deal, a great performer, etc.) and they don’t want to be left out.  In the entertainment industry the job of the marketing and promotion team is to get people to think that everybody loves whatever they are promoting, once they do that the sheep will just get in line.

The Washington Post apparently did a social experiment on perception, taste and priorities.  Three days after violinist Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston, where the average seat was $100, the Post sent him to a metro station in Washington DC.  He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3,500,000.  He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes, during that time only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing no one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

In other words, of the thousands of people going through the station, nobody could tell the difference between one of the greatest violinists of our time and any regular street musician.  But put him in a tuxedo and let the promoters do there thing and people will pay large sums of money to be there.  By the way, I’ve never heard Joshua Bell play so I don’t know if he really is a great musician but since he was in the paper I’m assuming he is – so I’m guilty too.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NLT)
That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.

Heavenly Father,
The only lasting glory is yours, yet in this world the meaningless is glorified.  We are a sinful people who waste our time chasing the wind, won’t you guide our hearts to do what is pleasing in your sight.  This I pray in Jesus name.


2 Responses to “Chasing 2008”

  1. This is a wonderful post. I just read it aloud to my husband and he enjoyed it as well. Very insightful and thought provoking.

  2. Good thoughts….our church is about to start a 3-month series on Ecclesiastes which I think is appropriate for the times we live in.

    Your first question at the top of this post is something for all of us to consider as we start on a new year. God bless –

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