Yet, in his writings, especially the book of Ecclesiastes, he calls the things of this world; all the wealth he accumulated, all the people, all the possessions, all of them are called “meaningless.”
Solomon spoke and wrote in Hebrew, the official language of Israel at the time of his reign as King. In Hebrew, the word translated to “meaningless” was the word “hebel”.
Hebel is translated to meaningless because the translator is attempting to show what Solomon meant by using this particular word. However, a more literal definition of hebel is “vapor” or “breath.” Solomon would have used the word hebel in his everyday life to describe the vapor in the air when you see your breath, or a cloud of fog.
So what lesson was the wealthiest man ever to live trying to teach us?
All of your money and all of your possessions, even people, are “hebel.” They are like vapor. Even though you may see them, before long, they will be gone. Solomon had everything he ever wanted, and could have anything his heart desired. Nothing was off limits to him, and still he couldn’t find happiness in his wealth.
He teaches us that money, things, and people are here to be enjoyed, appreciated, loved, shared, and cared for, but don’t ever forget that they are like vapor. You can sit amongst them like sitting in a cloud, but if you try to grab on too tightly, they slip through your fingers like they aren’t even there.
Money and possessions can overwhelm you with joy, yet they can blind you. They can come to you in abundance, but you cannot own them in a permanent sense, and so pursuing them is called “a chasing after the wind.”
When wonderful things and people enter your life, love and enjoy and appreciate them in the moment without becoming attached or looking to them as the source of your own happiness.
When these things leave your life; you lose a loved one, you crush the side of your car with a trailer, or your retirement account takes a big hit in the stock market, remember, these things are like vapor. You can’t chase or catch them. Just be thankful that you had them while you did, and wait joyfully for the next great thing to come to you.
Have a joyful day!
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