Have you ever been to a Corn Maze? From the outside it looks like a field of Corn. Walking through it, turn by turn and a bit lost gives a very different view. If you were to take a helicopter ride above, or film from a drone you’d see how the maze is cut from the maize. The three locations give three very different perspectives. As we read through Ecclesiastes 3 let’s take a look from those three perspectives.
From the outside it is like that catchy song “Turn, Turn, Turn” from the 60’s band the Byrds, that lifts the lyrics from this text. An outside kind of view reminds us that there are seasons of life and it wise to know what season you are in. Should I stay at my desk or kick a ball with my boy? Should I listen or speak up. there is a time for everything.
As we go inside, it’s not quite so twee, so singable, so three word slogan-able. Solomon set out in the book of Ecclesiastes to understand life. He tries everything – power, wealth, hard work, sex, music, service. Everything that people say makes life meaningful. He comes to the same conclusion that Jim Carrey does in a 2006 interview “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” In v15 we see time is circular “That which is, has already been, that which is to be already has been and God seeks what has been driven away.”
Solomon throws up his hands in v9 “What do we gain from this?” Solomon concludes everything is meaningless. Everything “under the sun”, which occurs 37 times in the book. Under the sun is the world without God. A world where there is nothing above the sun, no God. The meaningless of philosophers like Nietsche, Satre, Camus, Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana.
So what do we do? We need to take the above view. We need to look up. Not flop exhausted in the maze of life. Verse 10 recognises the burden that God has left us with, but then… But then, hope comes, “Also he has put eternity in our hearts”. We were always meant to yearn for something more than what is under the sun. Something more than mere activity.
John 8:32 tells us that Jesus has come from above. He is the One who lifts up our hearts and our eyes. He is the One, who gives us meaning and purpose.
Praise God for Jesus!