one eleven

One injury, one affair, one arrest or one unforgivable misstep is all that it takes to go from being beloved by all to being the forgotten has-been. “There is no remembrance of former things, neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those that shall come after.” – Ecclesiastes 1:11

No, you’ve not stumbled upon some random Bible study, but instead, a random and sobering thought. I can’t help but align today’s date to that nugget of scripture that had an impact on me, even when I was a kid. One hundred years from now, everything and everyone will have been forgotten, regardless of what he or she does today or what occurs.

The amazing encouragement behind that wisdom is that for those of us who worry about what others think about us, in the end, no one will think about you at all. At the same time, for those who seek a “temporal immortality” by being famous or sought after, in the end, no one will think about you at all.

In regards to life, a popular quote says, “No one makes it out alive.” When you die, there will be a funeral and a handful of people or maybe thousands will lament you for an hour or so. And then they’ll rush back to their lives and do things to try to forget your death and how it forced them to consider their own mortality.

Perhaps, to you, this thought more depressing than sobering. Perhaps, considering this makes you feel empty. That’s exactly my point. Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, had everything: power, wealth, women and good looks. But still he felt empty. There is a value to that emptiness though. With it, we are likely motivated to search for something more than what satisfies us for a moment; something bigger than us. Through acknowledging what is truly emptiness, we discover our own need for something God-given that will fill us and give us a true and lasting purpose.

Or maybe all I’m saying is gibberish in this random and sobering thought. I digress.

one elevenkenn
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10 comments on "one eleven"

  1. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thank you for sharing. 😉

  2. Katandra Shanel Jackson Taylor on

    Agreed and Not agreed. I feel fully the passage and your description of that great emptiness. Why strive for greatness when at the end of the day, dirt is piled atop a pine box, a few amens are whispered, and yes life does go on. But what of the soul that continues to resonate throughout all eternity? Jesus is a household name. No one has forgotten him. He is remembered because the success he sought was not his own. I’m glad in this knowledge as I feel i’ve found my sweet spot! I can write until my fingers bleed the words across the page, but there is nothing more satisfying than educating the world on the importance of child sexual abuse. Raising that awareness even if it is just one person that directly received the word. That one person is one person closer to another and that education has the divine opportunity to echoe throughout eternity. So whereas I agree, no we should not worry ourselves about what others think of us because yes they will soon forget… I don’t feel that we should not each be Authors. We each have a story to tell and the world is listening and I promise, someone will remember 😉

    KSJT @ FreedomInk

    • I agree with you not agreeing 🙂 In my random consideration, I wasn’t by any means intending to be absolute in that ALL is forgotten so why try. That which is rooted in truth remains until the end of time.

  3. Yep I totally feel what you’re saying Bivins. I’ve had that same sobering revelation too. Even when it comes to Solomon…there isn’t even an pure image of him and there is a great portion of the world that isn’t convinced he existed at all, or that what is recorded in the bible are *his* words. There are also civilizations whose remains are sitting at the bottom of the ocean when water levels were much lower than they are now…we know little to nothing about them, who they were etc. How much time will go by before we forget who Michael Jackson was? Or Bob Marley? Future generations may hear the music and wonder “Who is that?”

    I would still venture to say, that even though we are forgotten, our effects on this earth remain (like Katandra mentioned). 100 years from now people may not remember those who fought for the abolition of slavery… they’ll just know they are free. And they won’t have a clue who the scientist were who brought us electricity, computers, modern medicine or even space travel (to name a few)…they’ll just enjoy better, longer and more adventurous lives, because of these forgotten folks.

    And as for writers…a small percentage of us will write something that will be remembered for hundreds of years…and though readers may not have a grasp of the writer (who they were, what their life was like, what their beliefs were), the work itself will continue to change people long after the author has gone on. Knowing this is comforting…knowing this negates any feeling of emptiness. After all…Solomon is still remembered and spoken of to this day (so he wasn’t completely right) 🙂 He is remembered, but not because of his looks, women, or wealth. He is remembered because of the words of wisdom he left behind…and even if the words were not his, but the creation of an anonymous author, that person has left behind work that continues to change people to this present day. 1000 years from now…the works may not survive in tangible mediums, but they would have worked their way into our general philosophies by then. 🙂 The lesson I take away from Ecclesiastes is to live my life as richly as possible, and if I strive to leave a mark, to put my efforts where they matter. Don’t draw a line in the sand…draw it in stone.
    [sounds preachy don’t it? lol!]

    • Not preachy at all. More of a call to action. If you’re going to make your mark, leave a deep impression that can’t be easily removed 🙂

  4. The Little One on

    “Through acknowledging what is truly emptiness, we discover our own need for something God-given that will fill us and give us a true and lasting purpose.” — Kenn Bivins

    I believe that our entire existence is wrapped up in this one thought. Our lives are to be filled and then poured out; filled and then poured out. Oftentimes, when we are feeling “empty” it’s this intersection of filled and poured that we’re battling.

    * When it comes to God — we want/need to be filled by Him, that we may pour out on others, when the opportunity presents itself (and it most-assuredly does).
    * When it comes to “empty” Relationships (soul mate and/or family) —we want/need companionship (in good times and bad) that we may share in someone else’s joy or sorrow.
    * When it comes to Career — we have talent/ideas/businesses that are spilling over within us … desperately wanting to come forward. Bringing even one to fruition, leaves room for more.

    I believe that we’re all looking for ways to actively participate in our lives, and that of others. Yes, at the end we all become dust. However, being an active participant in life, promotes the continuation and life of another person. While our names may become a “google” item, the fill/pour means that we’ve served our purpose while here. And that, is our one and only mark of being eternal (on this side). And for me, that is more than enough.

  5. I guess I first read Ecclesiastes sometime in high school, i loved it then and i love it now. I didn’t
    think it depressing then, and i don’t think it depressing now…just the opposite really.For out of the suffering and futility of this world God gives peace and joy now and hope eternal. Taken in context Ecclesiastes is Solomon’s warning to others and especially young people to not seek after material things and empty pleasures or even wisdom apart from God. He tells us having achieved all riches, all wisdom and experienced all pleasure he has realized that in the end the wise man and the fool both die…so order your life according to God’s commandments and God’s wisdom rather than the wisdom and desires of man, which when placed against eternity is empty foolishness. If there is nothing new under the sun, and all is vanity, then your hope resides above the sun. Ecclesiastes ends:
    “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is man’s all. Then in Matt. 22:37 when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was he said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind…and the second is like it You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The bible really is God calling us to walk in the light and truth of His love. Love for Him and love for everyone else.

    “Through acknowledging what is truly emptiness, we discover our own need for something God-given that will fill us and give us a true and lasting purpose.” The point of Ecclesiastes explained perfectly, love it! So, i’m gonna say no on the whole gibberish thing. 🙂

  6. I have always thought since I was little that one day we die and the rest of the world carries on. Some may hurt for a little but still get over it only remembering you when a birthday comes or a special event is happening only to think of you ever so slightly…maybe wishing you were there? Or just thinking what would he/she do right now in this moment. Never thought of Ecclesiastes or Solomon but interesting that you would link the two when thinking of this.

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