31 Days to Happiness. By David Jeremiah
Is happiness still within our reach? Can there be a full life in an empty generation?
To put the question another way, is there some isolated corner, some hidden alcove, some distant hill where one can find a genuine touch of heaven on earth?
No trite answers will do. This particular question is too urgently important to most of us. Where is that elusive doorway, or perhaps just a keyhole, where we can catch a fleeting glimpse of the Eden we know in our hearts this earth should be?
Maybe perfect joy is just another myth—an empty reverie composed of wishes and what-ifs. Maybe we just haven’t found the treasure map that would show us where to find what really matters in life.
Or maybe we have simply been looking in the wrong places. Could it be that a dusty old composition tucked into a book, found in your own home, has a message you and I have missed for too long?
Consider Ecclesiastes: thousands of years old, obscure, deep in the middle of your Bible, rarely disturbed by formal preacher or casual reader in these loud and crowded days.
Oh, and one more thing about this book—it was penned by the wisest man on earth: Solomon. Remember him? Sure, we are comfortable among his pithy aphorisms found in the book just preceding this one—the one we know as Proverbs.
But Ecclesiastes . . . apart from a few “greatest hits” pulled from its pages, you might well make it all the way through life without a single visit to Ecclesiastes.
You are likely to be startled, though, by this book’s starkly modern insights into the human condition.
Its message is as contemporary as a postmodern university textbook, a celebrity interview, or even a teenage suicide note. It is like an urgent “E-mail” (E for Ecclesiastes) written an hour ago.
It is not the proverbial Solomon but a weary and despairing one who cries out into the emptiness his questions of passion and pathos: Why do I feel so empty? Why do the good guys so often lose? Why do the shadows of death block out the light of life?
From the loneliness of a crowded palace, he gives voice to his own afflictions—echoed by Courtney Love, who from the palaces of pop culture has sung: “It’s the emptiness that follows you down. It’s the ache inside when it all burns out.”
Solomon hits this year’s nerve. He isolates the very places where you and I have ached lately with the probing finger of a skilled doctor who says, “Does it hurt . . . right here?”
Solomon explores the questions: What was it that pushed you and me into the wrong pursuits? The unwise relationships? The destructive habits? How can we climb out of it now, or is it too late?
His eyes fall upon the shadows that blanket our hearts, and he describes the problems and regrets that travel uncomfortably with us, like shackles upon feet that long to run free.
Listen to the hard-wrought titles of Solomon: anointed monarch, visionary architect, cherished son of David. Yes, he is all of these things. But in the final analysis, he is one more wounded human specimen in the Great Physician’s waiting room, where the rest of us sit for months or years or decades.
Yet we need to know this Solomon, for by the grace and wonder of God, his wounds are mingled with wisdom. His pain is colored by perception.
And not in spite of but because of his suffering—supplemented at the outset by a special gift from God—Solomon becomes known as the wisest man on the face of the earth. We could do much worse for faculty in the school of life.
Listen, then, to the voice of wisdom and experience; the voice that, if you are willing to listen, will speak directly into the flesh and bones and blood cells of your life.
Prepare for age-old secrets to renew and re-create you in heart, mind, body, and spirit, that you might recover the joy you have lost.
This is not only Solomon’s voice; a deeper, quieter, yet more powerful voice breaks through his weariness and desperation.
This One longs to bless your life with wisdom and to bring you to the crest of a hill where you can catch a glimpse of what seems impossible: heaven on earth.