In a first world nation, particularly our own, we have not often faced our mortality up front and personally. When that happens it significantly disrupts how we process things.
Our prosperity, overly busy lifestyles, and brushing aside all things pointing to death leave us Ill-equipped to handle this challenge. The illusions of safety and control are gone, stripped away by a virus.
To this end many put their faith in government. Such utterly failed on numerous levels regardless of political affiliation. Government is unable to know what comes next or even what is best. The book of Ecclesiastes makes this perfectly clear to government as well as all of us.
To this end many embraced the opposite extreme of individualism, but like the government pursuit, without knowing what comes next or what is best, you are left to chasing after the wind. The book of Ecclesiastes suggests pursuing wisdom and not aggravating government.
You will die. You do not know when. You do not know how. How you embrace death determines how you will live life. Our brushing death off gives the illusion we will escape, but die we will. In this challenge what becomes profoundly clear is central role religion plays in our life. For apart from God, the futility of all our actions and the brevity of our lives makes little sense. Brushing off religion is part of our brushing off death. We chased the wind and are left with nothing.
With life being hard and not fair, brief and uncontrollable, how can the writer of Ecclesiastes say: “Eat, drink, enjoy the fruit of your labor. For this too is a gift from God”? Because life itself is a gift from God. To embrace life in light of who God is grants us freedom despite challenges, and hope despite adversity.
This is why faith in God is both reasonable and mysterious. It is also why a Christian worldview far outmatches other options. We can embrace the seeming chaos because of the One who orders all things. Thus fearing God and keeping His instructions is a freeing and light burden.