But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless— like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere (v.11).
Tom Brady has model-like good looks, is married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and has led his football team to three championships. But it’s still not enough. Brady confessed during an interview, “Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey, man, this is what is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, ‘God, it’s got to be more than this.’ I mean this isn’t—this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be.” The interviewer asked, “What’s the answer?” Brady responded, “I wish I knew. I wish I knew.”
Brady’s befuddlement sounds similar to the complaint found in Ecclesiastes. Solomon sought fulfillment in pleasure, wine, women, projects, gardens, music, and excessive wealth. He wrote, “I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and . . . anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure” (2:9-10). And yet he discovered that nothing in this life ultimately satisfies. It’s not supposed to.
Like Brady and Solomon, Augustine had experienced great success (he was a sexually promiscuous speechwriter for the emperor), but he learned that the more he scratched his desires the more he itched. Later, he famously opened his Confessions by telling the Lord, “You have made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.”
You and I may never win a lifetime achievement award, enter a Hall of Fame, or see our name in lights. So it’s good to hear those at the top say that celebrity, money, or whatever, isn’t important. The only thing that was ever meant to satisfy you is God.
Read Psalms 73:1 to learn why only God can satisfy.
How have you learned that nothing satisfies but God? What dreams turned into disappointment once you saw them come to fruition?