Yesterday on Facebook, my (soon-to-be) former pastor shared a graphic from a preacher named Luke Levine. Essentially, the post trumpeted the power of social media as a communication tool and questioned Christians who would waste it on themselves rather than using it to spread the gospel. In trying to locate that image, I searched “Luke Levine social media” and was greeted, mostly, with images of a shirtless Adam Levine during Maroon 5’s Super Bowl performance. It seemed oddly appropriate.
What does the worker gain from his struggles? I have seen the task that God has given the children of Adam to keep them occupied. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end.Ecclesiastes 3:9-11
What do we gain from our struggles? If you’re Adam Levine at the peak of your band’s popularity, you gain a ton of money. If you’re an ordinary person, you gain enough money to pay your bills. I know that Jesus tells us not to worry about food and clothes, but he certainly doesn’t tell us to quit our jobs or fail to plant our fields. Work is a good thing, an appropriate thing, something the Torah says we should do six days out of seven.
Work is a good thing but it is a limited thing. I even enjoy listening to Maroon 5 (provided that I don’t pay too close of attention to the lyrics), but if Adam Levine and company believe that they’re accomplishing anything more than earning a bunch of money, then they’re sorely mistaken.
I know, you have some music that you grew up hearing and still love. Bachman-Turner Overdrive was playing on Spotify for me this morning. That music makes people happy. The food you cook makes people happy. The clothes you sell make people happy. The air conditioner you repair makes people happy. Happiness is good, isn’t it?
While we attend to the necessary things of the flesh, we have to remember eternity
In general, happiness is good so long as it isn’t based on something destructive, but happiness or mere survival are very temporary things. You don’t starve to death this month, which is good, but that doesn’t mean you won’t die in 40 years. Happiness and survival will come to an end.
But God has put eternity in our hearts. He has let us know that we’re meant for something bigger and more important than what is “under the sun.” He’s hardwired us to recognize that there’s something more than what we do when we go about our average day.
I would hazard to guess that even this Luke Levine guy spends more time dealing with matters of a temporal nature than of a spiritual nature. That’s the way it is when we inhabit this flesh. Even the greatest prayer warriors need to keep themselves clothed and fed and housed and hydrated.
The problem comes when we believe that this temporal and temporary stuff is all there is or is the most important part of what is. Solomon has spent a good deal of time systematically claiming that everything “under the sun” is pointless. But he didn’t say it wasn’t necessary.
While we attend to the necessary things of the flesh, we have to remember eternity, whether with our music, our social media, or something else.