“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. Ecclesiastes 1:2-4
On the surface, this is actually depressing but you need to go a bit deeper in thought to ponder the words.
The writer is limiting his observation to the efforts of man and his desire to do things on this earth that will last. In reality there are very few people who have gone down in history as those we remember. The great majority of us will be forgotten within a generation after our deaths. I cite as an example, my father.
My dad passed away to be with the Lord on January 17th, 1991. He died before I was married and before I had children. My sons never met him and don’t know who he was. Since then, my mother also passed and the only ones who remember his deeds on earth are those who are now alive that knew him. Once my wife and I are gone and the generation that actually knew him is gone, my dad will be only a name on a gravestone that eventually will be forgotten by time.
The same will be for me and for you. This is why, as the writer says, “everything is meaningless”. We think that we are making some type of impact on this world and we deceive ourselves. How many great pharaohs did Egypt have yet they are all forgotten to history? The impact you have on this world is useless and futile.
The important impact we should concentrate on is the eternal one. We were designed to be eternal creatures. We were made to have an eternal relationship with God. The thing we need to concern ourselves with is not what impact we have on this world but on what impact we will have on eternity