When I Choose for Myself, Loneliness Thrives

Crossroads

When I Choose for Myself, Loneliness Thrives

I increased my achievements. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made gardens and parks for myself and planted every kind of fruit tree in them. I constructed reservoirs of water for myself from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees. I acquired male and female servants and had slaves who were born in my house. I also owned many herds of cattle and flocks, more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. I also amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I gathered male and female singers for myself, and many concubines, the delights of men. Thus, I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem; my wisdom also remained with me. All that my eyes desired, I did not deny them. I did not refuse myself any pleasure, for I took pleasure in all my struggles. This was my reward for all my struggles. When I considered all that I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun. Eccl 2:4-11 (HCSB)

Solomon offers the greatest example of when we live a self-centered, self-focused lifestyle, self-satisfaction is not possible.

When “I” dominates our thoughts and motivates our life, we are focused on pleasing ourself first and foremost. However, “I” focus leads only to futility, and in time, growing futility morphs into frustration, which ultimately develops into hate for our insatiable self. Even when all the prestige, power and pleasures of this world are available, our “I” focus can never be adequately satisfied. Why? Because, God did not create us to be selfish creatures. We were created to serve and share with those within our circle of family and friends.

The richest people in this world have repeatedly testified that when they got caught up in their growing wealth and fame, only loneliness shared that wealth and fame. Why do so many rich and famous people resort to lifestyles that are so destructive, risking all they have? Even the great Solomon discovered his insatiable desires nurtured the loneliness he found himself surrounded by – his concubines failed to satisfy his desire for true love; all his servants could not offer him true friendship; and his enumerable slaves were not a replacement for family.

There is a decision we all must make in life: a crossroads of two choices. One road offers glory, fame and fortune found through a lifetime following our own will, ways, and wisdom – much like Solomon. The other road leads to a destination that can only be discovered by faith. A faith that requires the surrender of shortsighted, selfish desires in exchange for trusting God’s will, ways, and wisdom. At the crossroads, our decision depends on whether we trust our eyes or our heart.

Solomon asked for wisdom, and God gave him his wish, but what he got was a lifetime of misery and frustration. History reveals, his selfish choices affected all the families of Israel. After his death, the clans that made up Israel split, went their own ways and never reconciled. They all entered the slippery slope on the road to destruction. Likewise, if we choose wrongly, we too can land on that same slippery slope and discover we too caused the demise of others as well. Which way is the right way? The one with a favorable destination your eyes can see, or the one with an unclear destination but your heart feels is the right choice? Choose wisely, but unselfishly. Success is never determined by the value of things we accumulate, but by the growing number of people we serve and share with in this world.

Coach

Words of Wisdom #220-4EC

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Coach

Retired, writing a contemporary mystery series, the Shiloh Mysteries. The first story is titled, "Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories". The sequel is "Testament, An Unexpected Return." The third is due out in Fall 2019, Purgatory, A Progeny's Quest." TMBrownAuthor.com

2 thoughts on “When I Choose for Myself, Loneliness Thrives”

  1. Hi Coach,
    That white graveled crossroads is so similar to where I grew up in Tennessee after Daddy moved us to Sand Mountain. It was our mother’s wish to move nearer to her family who wanted us all as farm hands. This lily white girl was put in a cotton patch at age 5 years, and I know that we are a dying breed now. Few kids got out of the cotton field, for the few dollars were all you’d have for some paper and pencils. “Pinkhoneysuckle,” speaks a lot of the abject poverty, but no matter where I’ve gone–I have taken the Lord with me, a nd my life was saved by angels more than once, for there were people around where we lived who were looking for little kids to hurt. I still love woodland trails, but now I am very disabled when it comes to walking. In later years that crossroads would lose all things but the old church, and my folks are gone, but lately I’ve been dreaming so much about them. The years, they pass too soon, for I never got to live there after Daddy made his decision for Christ, but that road is a metaphor for all that you say–Exactly as you spoke of Solomon–Christ chose the poor and to go among the most derelict, for they needed the most–And he made so clear that money can cause deep anguish. Look at how our Billionaires are being so generous as to give half of what they have, and we need so very much more, for all is taken at the top. Even career college students graduate and cannot find a job outside of waiting tables; They are disappointed, and they hurt so very much. We are in a country who is now on high resolution to make Gods of Science and Math, for I saw a TED piece tonight. I cannot imagine having no relationship with God, for I know that there is something which helps us, prepares for us, and keeps the still water that is life flowing. Give us the strength, Oh Lord to take the road leading home. Thank you my old friend and your family, Barbara

  2. Thanks for sharing Barbara. Our roots anchored in the past shape who we are and stir up memories that can bring smiles and sometimes scowls. Blessings to you my friend.

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