Do you know why February 24th or October 5th are important dates in history?

I Bet You Don’t Know

Without reading this article, I bet you don’t know why I am asking what happened on February 24, 1955, or October 5, 2011. 

I will tell you, but in the meantime, I want to talk about the Book of Ecclesiastes.

If you need a quick and superficial “pick me up,” I don’t recommend you read Ecclesiastes. 

It has a lot of bad news in it for those of us who spend our lives working hard, studying hard, and having monetary or professional success. 

Ecclesiastes says that these measures of success are “meaningless.”

Ecclesiastes is part of the Old Testament and is read by Jews at various religious holidays, and it is also considered a book of wisdom by Christians.

Ecclesiastes means “preacher,”  and King Solomon, son of King David, is widely believed to be the preacher. 

The Bad News According To Ecclesiastes 

According to Ecclesiastes

  • Most of life is “meaningless,” 
  • sooner or later, no one will remember us after we die, and
  • everything that others who lived before us have already experienced, everything we experience, i.e., there is nothing new under the sun.  

According to Ecclesiastes, no matter what, we all share a common destiny that we can’t control, i.e., death.

Ecclesiastes wrote that we cannot avoid our common fate by working or studying hard, or accumulating wealth.  Getting promoted at work doesn’t help, nor does having a lot of friends. 

The Good News According To Ecclesiastes

If we try hard to be good people, everything will work out in the end.

I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race…I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.  

Ecclesiastes  continues to state that if we live life as proscribed by Ecclesiastes

“[our] spirit will return[] to God who gave it.” 

What you need to know…

Ecclesiastes provides a universal yet, elementary lesson. 

We can’t control most things in life, such as when we are born or die or whether we are intelligent, lucky, or wealthy.  We can’t control the actions of other people. 

And, it is inevitable that sooner or later, everyone alive will forget that we ever existed. 

So, we need to ignore what we can’t control and focus on what we can control, which is how we live our lives. 

We control whether we love our family, are nice to other people, or do the right thing. 

Ecclesiastes teaches that we don’t have to worry about what happens after we die –  if we are a good person, we will be returned to God when we die.  

What is so important about February 24, 1955, and October 5, 2011?

Those are the dates that Steve Jobs was born and died. 

Steve Jobs was smart, influential, rich, and worked hard.  He changed the world and was one of the most well-known people ever. 

But, despite all of his success, money, and fame, on the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs’s death, Apple CEO Tim Cook needed to remind the world of Mr. Job’s life and legacy. 

If Tim Cook hadn’t penned an anniversary of death email, how many people would have remembered that Steve Jobs died ten years before?  It only took 10 years for most people to start to forget about Steve Jobs. 

Who among us believes that 200 or 300 years from now, anyone will remember who Steve Jobs was or why he was important? 

While Ecclesiastes was written more than 2,000 years ago, its words still ring true today, even for Steve Jobs.  And, that’s not comforting.    

But, for better or worse, if we follow the teachings of Ecclesiastes, upon death, we can be just like Steve Jobs, and “[our] spirit will return[ed] to God who gave it.” So, according to Ecclesiastes, each of us can achieve eternal life if only we are happy and do good while we are alive.

Mark Sunshine

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