What I'm Learning in Ecclesiastes - Part Three

Here are the last two posts in this series.

So, Ecclesiastes isn’t the most upbeat writing in the Bible. At least in the first two chapters which is all we’ve covered so far in the Sunday School class I’m teaching. The third lesson I’ve learned so far isn’t all that cheery, either.

3) When I die, the world will keep on going.
Ecclesiastes 1:16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!

I’d like to think that the world will stop, but that’s not reality. My departure from this life is going to affect a very, very small number of people. Here's how I figure it - I’m connected to 374 people on Facebook right now. If I take that number and add the people I’ve been a pastor to in 8 years, then round that total up to the nearest thousand, my overestimation of how many people will in one way or another be affected by my death is 2,000. According to the internets, the world population is expected to hit 7 billion this year which means, theoretically, that my death will affect .000028% of the world. In addition, most of the 2,000 people I know won’t give it much more than an, “Oh.”

The world will keep on going. If you're as much of a wicked-hearted narcissist as I am, that fact hurts.

By God's grace, I can live (and die) with that. On most days I’m not out to make a name for myself - well, mostly I’m not. I really hope that I’m making much of Jesus’ name. I try to remember constantly the line from that poem by C.T. Studd "Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last." The world will keep on, but hopefully a witness and testimony to the mercy and grace of God will remain that causes people not to remember me, but Jesus. I’m praying that the death I die every day to self will result not in people remembering me but seeing Jesus.

If that happens, for any of us, then who cares if we're remembered?