9: So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10: And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. 11: Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
There is a procedure now being done on the eyes called Lasik surgery. I am told that many who have had the procedure boast on the improvement in their ability to see clearly. Much of the time those treated no longer need glasses or contacts. The same old eyes, but now they are working like they’re supposed to. Things that were hazy or cloudy are now seen with crystal clarity; depth perception is restored and as a result judgment regarding distance becomes accurate. Needless to say, there is elation over the correction of vision, and a confidence takes over because things appear as they are, and things that we’ve stumbled over are no longer a problem.
A similar thing occurs when our spiritual vision is enhanced. The sometimes hazy, cloudy perspective in our Christian lives clear up; and the depth perception of our Christian walk is realized, positively affecting our judgment. One gains confidence over the things that they’ve stumbled over. Certainty and strength results and the Christian inside emerges. But often it takes a special occurrence to clear the vision. When this event occurs it creates a new person; one whose commitment is deepened and purpose is well defined.
We hear an emotional evolution taking place in the writing of Solomon, the wise man that wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. In his efforts to satiate the desires of his heart he discovers that there is little or no lasting satisfaction that was derived from his attempts. Earlier in this chapter Solomon boast of all the things that he had afforded himself. I imagine that as he layered on one desire after another that he became perplexed when the joy from those things were short lived. Solomon even went on to say that “all is vanity and vexation to the soul. ”( Etymology: Middle English vanite, from Anglo-French vanité, from Latinvanitat-, vanitas quality of being empty or vain, from vanus empty, vain — )
Date: 13th century
1 : something that is vain, empty, or valueless
Date: 15th century
1 : the act of harassing or vexing : TROUBLING
To roughly interpret what Solomon was saying was that all the “striving” and “getting” equaled to nothing more than valueless emptiness that troubled his spirit.
Am I saying that it’s wrong to have things? Not at all ! The warning is, you can have things, but don’t let things have you. (1Corinthians 6 19: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20: For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. I advise anyone to have as many nice things as you can get without paying too much for them. (Matthew 16: 26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
When one has spiritual clarity of vision the value of the soul comes into sharp focus. The seriousness of the impact of our decisions in life takes on a different meaning; any careless decision could cost someone their soul. The time that we have left to serve the Lord becomes important. Too many individuals view their tomorrows as without limits and that there will be time to do what must be done. But if you started today, you would not have time to secure the salvation of your children; your children’s children, your brothers and sisters and all the people that you have love and regard for.