Today we have financial advisors to help us maximize our money since it doesn’t grow on trees. We have academic advisors who tell us how to spend our fleeting lives and few college years, hopefully so we can get a good job and retire someday. We have people with no credentials whatsoever going on TV and giving advice on every topic under the sun. Right or wrong, accredited or not, every human advisor will fail eventually, because they fall back on human wisdom that was capped at Solomon, who despaired at the meaninglessness of life.
Solomon, richest man in the world, still had a limited amount of money and there was only so much he could chase. Solomon, who had his every need looked after by servants and captains and advisors, had as much time as he wanted to chase after anything he wished, but there are still so many hours in the day, so many years in a life. And no matter who you are, there’s only so much energy you can expend. If only I had more time, more money, more energy, then there would be peace… But Solomon had it all and still found himself restless and despairing. Nothing strips a person of peace faster than chasing after what doesn’t matter. And nothing fulfills like chasing what does.
When Jesus is your advisor, there is peace. Jesus said if you put first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, all the other things you worry about and fret over and try to work for and fit in and value and honor and whatnot—all this will somehow fall into place (Matthew 6:33).
My Mom uses this illustration for kids that my adult brain can’t help but connect with. She has a jar, a handful of walnuts, and a bag of rice. You pour in the rice, then top with the walnuts, and the lid won’t fit. Not enough room, not enough time, energy, money, resources, what have you. But, pour it all back out and seek first—uh, put the walnuts in first, then the rice fills all the empty spaces and voila! The lid screws right on.
Excerpt from “Peace and How to Keep It.” Coming fall 2020.