By Aaron Bernstein, Contributing Writer
Recently I was reminded of an advertisement my wife and I saw a number of years ago. We were walking in a mall and I pulled her into a high-end speaker store. They were offering free demos and I remember being drawn to it like an insect to a bright light.
While the speakers sounded great, the message spoke a louder message. The advertisement, blasting in rich, deep tones, instructed us to make the purchase so that we could “live a happier life and love more.” I wondered if I had heard the advertisement correctly.
Part of being married is knowing what your spouse is thinking without needing words. Hilary gave me the “did-they-really-just-say-that?” look. I am sure I gave the same look right back to her. I would assume that telling us we would enjoy our TV and movies more would not pry the thousands of dollars that they required from our wallets. But to live more? To love more? It still seems outrageous to me years later.
One of my favorite books of the Bible is Ecclesiastes. God always speaks clearly to me when he reminds me not to quest after stuff. Ecclesiastes 9: 7-10 tells us:
“Eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”
What a simple message; eat, drink, work hard, be merry, and love the wife (or husband) that God has given. Simple words, hard attitude.
Personally, when I find that I am having difficulty it is when I have shifted my eyes from God. Every time a shiny doo-dad catches my eye is when I forget to thank God for what I have and find myself asking for something more.
If you know anything about Ecclesiastes, you probably know that the book is an account of Solomon’s quest for meaning from fueling his own desires. He denied himself nothing and came to this conclusion:
“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” ~ Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14
I would guess that if fancy speakers had been around when Solomon was alive, he would have bought them. I also assume that there may have been a verse that reminded us that cool speakers, no matter what the advertising says, does not make us live or love more. Only loving God through Jesus Christ will give us the joy that we are really seeking.