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October 30, 1999

Great Projects

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I undertook great projects. ECCLESIASTES 2:4
If wisdom and pleasure don’t yield the fulfillment we are looking for, then maybe what we ought to do is engage in really hard work.
If we immerse ourselves in our careers—if we launch great projects and build houses and plant fields—maybe then we will look on the work of our hands and be able to say with some degree of satisfaction that it was all worthwhile. Doing all of this takes much more effort than simply engaging in pleasure and looking for something to laugh about, but surely it will yield a greater sense of significance in the long run.
This is perfectly logical thinking, Solomon says, but as unrealistic as any other options that have been proposed. Undertaking great projects may occupy our time, and it might keep our minds from reflecting on other things, but in the end it will have no greater effect in bringing us a sense of enduring fulfillment than wisdom or knowledge or pleasure will.
So where does that leave us? If we’ve been paying attention, we realize it leaves us in a better position to view our work realistically. Have you been trying to silence the still, small voice of God by undertaking “great projects”? How has that worked for you?

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