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Vanity of Life

 

Despair

Sometimes it gets extremely dark in the tunnel. All of a sudden, just when we think we see a light at the end, instead it turns out to be a train coming right at us! Such is the hopeless, fatalistic view of a desperate person.

 

Despair

It is no accident that we describe lives without Jesus Christ as “empty,” because that is exactly what they are. The world today is suffering from what Dr. Carl Jung calls “a neurosis of emptiness.” He says, “When goal goes, meaning goes; when meaning goes, purpose goes; when purpose goes, life goes dead on our hands.

 

Despair

A skeptic wrote in his autobiography: “What else is there to make life tolerable? We stand on the shore of an ocean, crying to the night, and in the emptiness sometimes a voice answers out of the darkness. But it is the voice of one drowning, and in a moment the silence returns and the world seems to be quite dreadful. The unhappiness of many people is very great, and I often wonder how they endure it.

 

Vanity

A Chinese legend tells of a group of cultured elderly gentlemen who met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties of tea so as to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests.

        When the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a golden box. The assembled epicures praised this exquisite tea. The host smiled and said, “The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink. I hope that it will be a reminder to us all that the good things in t1life are not necessarily the rarest or the most costly.”

 

Despair

Sometimes it gets extremely dark in the tunnel. All of a sudden, just when we think we see a light at the end, instead it turns out to be a train coming right at us! Such is the hopeless, fatalistic view of a desperate person. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Despair

It is no accident that we describe lives without Jesus Christ as “empty,” because that is exactly what they are. The world today is suffering from what Dr. Carl Jung calls “a neurosis of emptiness.” He says, “When goal goes, meaning goes; when meaning goes, purpose goes; when purpose goes, life goes dead on our hands. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Despair

A skeptic wrote in his autobiography: “What else is there to make life tolerable? We stand on the shore of an ocean, crying to the night, and in the emptiness sometimes a voice answers out of the darkness. But it is the voice of one drowning, and in a moment the silence returns and the world seems to be quite dreadful. The unhappiness of many people is very great, and I often wonder how they endure it. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Vanity

A Chinese legend tells of a group of cultured elderly gentlemen who met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties of tea so as to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests.

When the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a golden box. The assembled epicures praised this exquisite tea. The host smiled and said, “The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink. I hope that it will be a reminder to us all that the good things in t1life are not necessarily the rarest or the most costly.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

VANITY

Tennis star Boris Becker was at the very top of the tennis world -- yet he was on the brink of suicide. He said, "I had won Wimbledon twice before, once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed ... It's the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string."

Becker is not the only one to feel that sense of emptiness. The echoes of a hollow life pervade our culture. One doesn't have to read many contemporary biographies to find the same frustration and disappointment. Jack Higgens, author of such successful novels and The Eagle Has Landed, was asked what he would like to have known as a boy. His answer: "That when you get to the top, there's nothing there." 

Our Daily Bread, July 9, 1994.


On November 25, 1895, a cornerstone of ice was laid in Leadville, Colorado -- the beginning of the largest ice palace ever built in America. In an effort to bolster the town's sagging economy, the citizens staged a winter carnival. On New Year's Day of 1896, the town turned out for the grand opening. The immense palace measured 450 x 320 feet. The towers that flanked the entrance were 90 feet high. Inside was a 16,000-square-foot skating rink. But by the end of March the palace was melting away, along with the hopes of Leadville. The thousands of visitors had spent very little.  

Today in the Word, August 4, 1993.

 

EMPTINESS

Tennis star Boris Becker was at the very top of the tennis world -- yet he was on the brink of suicide. He said, "I had won Wimbledon twice before, once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed ... It's the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string."

Becker is not the only one to feel that sense of emptiness. The echoes of a hollow life pervade our culture. One doesn't have to read many contemporary biographies to find the same frustration and disappointment. Jack Higgens, author of such successful novels and The Eagle Has Landed, was asked what he would like to have known as a boy. His answer: "That when you get to the top, there's nothing there."  

Our Daily Bread, July 9, 1994.

 

VAIN GLORY

Some men become proud and insolent because they ride a fine horse, wear a feather in their hat or are dressed in a fine suit of clothes. Who does not see the folly of this? If there be any glory in such things, the glory belongs to the horse, the bird and the tailor.── St. Francis de Sales.