What I had in mind in writing this was a Buddhist verse that was placed on one of my recent posts. "What you are now is what you have been; what you will be is what you do now." You are a culmination of your past and your future is determined by what you do this moment. We only live in this moment and so the present moment is what is most important. The past cannot be changed and we don’t know whether this will be our last moment or not, the future never guaranteed.
That’s good to ponder and good to apply to give meaning to the present moment, but let’s see what the Word of God has to say about living in the present, for in these matters “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:13.
The whole book of Ecclesiastes deals with the futility of life without God. The verse in the Word of God that comes closest to this Buddhist concept is this one from Ecclesiastes: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” (1:9) The part of the verse that makes this Buddhist verse vapid in comparison is what is added. “There is no new thing under the sun.”
For though the idea of living in the present is a good thing to ponder, to know that we are the culmination of the past, and that what we do in the present will dictate what we will be in the future, there is an existentialist quality to the idea that can lend itself to despair without the knowledge and wisdom that the Word of God ascribes with the additional sentence and the rest of the Book of Ecclesiastes.
Because everything really is meaningless, how can you justify your existence, be satisfied with what you have, or have hope for the future if you know that this is so? The only way is to have Christ, trusting in Him with the hope that those plans of yours that you carry out today are in the will of the Father so that no matter what happens outside of your control will culminate in a future that does have meaning since the present that creates it also has meaning because of Him.
So let's look at the theme of this post for a second and identify it. It's about the futility of life without God, specifically Jesus Christ, the manifestation of God to us and how in Him we have meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence. I welcome your thoughts about Ecclesiastes and the meaing that God puts into your life.