Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 speaks to us of life in general. There is a time for every purpose under heaven; a time to be born, a time to die, a time to laugh, a time to cry, etc. As the Soap Opera puts it, “These are the times of our lives”. Bill 29 miley3Medley sang about having the time of our lives in Dirty Dancing. Miley Cyrus named her hit album in 2009, “The time of our lives.” The chorus of Miley’s song goes like this, “Let’s have the time of our lives! Like there’s no one else around. Just throw your hands up high. Even when they try to take us down, let’s have the time of our lives till the lights burn out. Let’s laugh until we cry. Life is only what you make it now. Let’s have the time of our lives!” Miley has made it fairly clear to the younger generation that we should abandon the old moral value structure of those who would want to “hold us down.” We should let go and just take all the pleasure we can no matter where it can be found just as if “there’s no one else around.”

Miley promotes a system as old as Genesis 3. It looks good, it feels good, and it tastes good, therefore it must be good. Hedonism is the oldest rationale for sin. In the Epic tale of Gilgamesh, from before the days of Abraham from Ur, we read, “Fill your belly. Day and night make merry. Let days be full of joy. Dance and make music day and night […] These things alone are the concern of men.” The first problem with this philosophy is that it doesn’t work. Solomon tried Miley’s life philosophy. Even as wealthy and famous as she has become, Solomon had more! No one had what he had and all of it was like “trying to catch the wind.” All of it is “vanity of vanities.” It will not bring true happiness in life. Solomon’s conclusion about eating and drinking and having joy in our work had a condition. True happiness, meaning and joy can only be found when we acknowledge that there is always someone else around.

The Gilgamesh Epic is wrong also; these things are not only the “concerns of men.” It is a concern of God as well. It doesn’t always look like it, but there a lot of things under the sun that aren’t exactly as they seem. The wisdom literature from the Far East asks the question, “if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make any sound?” A Poem written a hundred years ago from a preacher (Ronald Knox) answers that question from Solomon’s perspective. There was a young man who said, “God Must think it exceedingly odd if he finds that this tree continues to be when there’s no one about in the Quad.” The Reply: Dear Sir, your astonishment’s odd: I am always about in the Quad. And that’s why the tree will continue to be, since observed by yours faithfully, GOD.” According to the wisest man to have ever lived, it’s only when God has His rightful place in our lives that true happiness and joy can be experienced in this life. Jesus wants us to have “the time of our lives.” In John 10:10, he tells us that He came that we might have “life in its fullest.”