End of Man
Many people think that the great object of life is to eat and drink and enjoy themselves. ” Their god is their belly; their end is destruction.”! There was once a man who spoke thus to himself: “My soul, we have much goods laid up for many years; let us eat and drink and enjoy ourselves.” When it was night, Almighty God came to that man and said to him : You fool, you fool, because you thought that you were made to eat and drink and enjoy yourself you fool, because you did not know what you were created for “you fool, this night you will die; and those goods which you have laid up for many years, whose shall they be?” “The number of fools is infinite.”
Then why are we in this world ? Why did God create us ? Was it to acquire praise and honor ? There is a man whose heart thirsts for praise and honor. He labors through sleepless nights and weary days. Year after year he watches and toils, till at last he obtains what his heart has craved so long. Praises and honors are showered upon him. His name is on every lip. But is he happy ? Is his weary heart at rest ? Ah ! no. Every new honor brings new cares. Envy and jealousy pursue him. His heart ever thirsts for more honors. He yearns to climb still higher and higher.
King Solomon, in the search after happiness, devoted his mind to the gratification of every desire of his heart. ” I said in my heart: I will go. and abound with delights and enjoy good things. I made me great works, I built me houses, and planted vineyards. I made gardens, and orchards, and set them with trees of all kinds, and I made me ponds of water, to water therewith the wood of the young trees. I got me men-servants, and maid-servants, and had a great family : and herds of oxen, and great flocks of sheep, above all that were before me in Jerusalem : I heaped together for myself silver and gold, and the wealth of kings, and provinces: I made me singing men, and singing women, and the delights of the sons of men : cups and vessels to serve to pour out wine: and I surpassed in riches all that were before me in Jerusalem : my wisdom also remained with me. And whatsoever my eyes desired, I refused them not: and I withheld not my heart from enjoying every pleasure, and delighting itself in the things which I had prepared: and esteemed this my portion, to make use of my own labor.”
After such ample enjoyment of all earthly pleasures, might we not think that Solomon was happy indeed ? Nevertheless, he tells us that his heart was not satisfied, and that he felt himself more miserable than before. ” And when I turned myself,” he says, “to all the works which my hands had wrought, and to the labors wherein I had labored in vain, I saw in all things vanity, and vexation of mind, and that nothing was lasting under the sun.”
Excerpt Taken From The Prodigal Son, or, The Sinner’s Return to God