“How are you today?” the salesman asks.
“I’m pretty good. How about you?” I respond.
“Just waiting for retirement, just waiting for retirement,” he says with his eyes cast down and his head shaking side to side.
“Oh yeah,” I say, “how long till you retire?”
“Too long – too long to even think about. I’ve got 10 more years before I can retire.” I decide to let this conversation die, and hope I never feel like he seems to feel.
In Ecclesiastes 2, Solomon seems to feel the same way as the salesman when he says all his labor is vanity, a striving after the wind, even saying “so I hated life” (v. 17). But then he concludes with a different attitude when he says, “There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?” (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25). Solomon realizes that meaning is not found in earthly production, but in relationship with God. Solomon realizes that God gave labor and productivity as a gift to man – not because he needed man to leave a lasting impact on the earth. Once Solomon sees that labor is a gift from God, and that our relationship with God gives labor meaning, then his attitude becomes positive. If you are struggling with a negative attitude about work or anything else, perhaps you should ponder where that part of your life fits into God’s plan – what blessing does he intend for you there?