Many years ago, a young photographer showed me one of his favorite photos. ............... It was not exceptional for its beauty - it was quite humorous (ironic). ............. The photograph was set on a gray November day. The trees in the background were leafless. The object in the center was a street sign. It read, “Old Cemetery Road.” Beneath it, another sign was mounted on the pole. It said, “Dead End.” .............................
I recently read through the entire book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon authored this section of the Bible. It is one of the most disturbing books of the Bible. He was the richest and wisest of men in his day. If anyone had enough money to make himself happy, it was Solomon. He was envied by his peers. If anyone was capable of rendering a just opinion on man’s recreational pursuits, Solomon was the man.
Thus with his money and his wit, he set out to prove that man can be happy without God. He explored the world of covetousness. He lacked nothing that appealed to his eye. He concluded that when a man had it all, he still had nothing. The destination of covetousness is the dead end in Old Cemetery Road.
He hired all forms of entertainers. He was amused by the comics of his day. He paid for the best musicians of his day. He was tired of listening to the hymns. He wanted music to laud the praises of folly. However, when the laughter died down and the music became harder and harder to hear, he discovered that the pursuit of entertainment led to one address: Marker 1, Old Cemetery Road.
He even tired to drink enough so that he might feel the effects of liquor and yet not lose his ability to analyze what was happening. Maybe there was some benefit to be found in intoxication. All he saw was a dead end sign.
He tried to discover justice and fairness without God. If a person is industrious and diligent, surely he will rise above his peers and find satisfaction. However, Solomon soon discovered that he will not. Nothing ever seems to make sense in life. The rich and poor, the wise and the simple, the noble and the beast all arrived at Old Cemetery Road in the same way: lifeless, empty, and forgotten.
As he wraps up his study, he looks to the young people of all ages. They are told that they can try to beat the system. To the youth of every age (including those in America in our day) he is says, “Go ahead; try to satisfy your every wish. Laugh with every comedian and dance to the music of every lyricist. Drink until you forget everything that troubles your soul. Make a name for yourself. But remember this, ‘that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment (Ecc. 11:9).’” You may think that the grave is far away. There is a good chance that you are right. However, if you choose to follow me on to Old Cemetery Road, you will find the same disappointment that I did. There are no other escapes because this is a Dead End.
The answer is found in the pursuit of God right now. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them (Ecc 12:1).” The time to make Jesus Christ your Savior is today.
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