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There’s nothing new under the sun… but what about beyond it?

August 22, 2011

“If all you can see is what’s under the sun, you will never find meaning in life.” (David Pawson)

Absynthe Minded. Indie. Jazz. Pop goes the weasel. Five straight-faced, fast-paced, myspace-traced Belgian-based musicians who took the way out back. They play their song Envoi for watch-listen-tell, but it’s There Is Nothing which caught my attention. You can only watch them play it live on YouTube: Listen to what they have to tell us below:

i took the way out back and walked out of the north station, in these busy streets
people buy fake brands and chinese stereos
we go on and on and … unconscious

i am the watcher now, i arrived here way too early
someone hits me in a rush carrying a giant ty dish
we go on and on and … unconscious

that’s how they keep in touch with a distant past that i don’t understand
it’s 8 o’ clock it seems like nighttime awaits the proper time to fall
we go on and on and … unconscious

this ain’t nothing new. i’m meeting a friend of mine
he lives up there in a room, 3 meters square
we go on and on and … unconscious

i say i’m gonna gut the house and i will make one better
he says you do it man that’s a good plan, just make it happen
we go on and on and … unconscious

we ain’t taking no subway we wanna stay in the last sunlight
as it fades away so suddenly, we bump into the night
we go on and on and … unconscious

streetlights still dim i look around and get the feeling that this place
is somewhere no one really wants to be at all, but that’s alright
we go on and on and … unconscious

the small time crooks and beggar-women are being led off to their homes
the blinking lights invite me telling i don’t need no sleep tonight
we go on and on and … unconscious

i love the way alcohol tastes, today’s hangover i wash it away
this city’s just big enough to lose yourself entirely in one day
we go on and on and … unconscious

bebop music a ceiling of smoke we’re talking lazily about our hopes
closing time always comes on time. the fruits of spoiling kids, it’s us
we go on and on and … unconscious

we go on and on and on, oh what is the outcome?
take a deep breath make a new wish you’ll get through one day
we go on and on and … unconscious
we haven’t got a clue, keep your mouth shut, get in line
this ain’t nothing new, this ain’t nothing new 

I don’t know about you, but this song left me feeling quite sad. If that is all there is to life, then is it really worth living? We just go on and on, unconscious, nothing’s new, “For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?” (Ecclesiastes 6:12) I look around and get the feeling that this place/ is somewhere no one really wants to be at all.

“There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.” (Ecc. 1:11) We go on and on, oh what is the outcome? 

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) This ain’t nothing new.

As you may have guessed, I recently read the book of Ecclesiastes, and at first glance, like this song, it struck me as postmodern with its realism and sense of disillusionment. But perhaps Ecclesisates is not as hopeless a book as it appears.  In any case, it forms only a small part of the larger book of the Bible, which presents us with the ultimate message of a sure and certain hope (read Rossetti and Renewal for more on this).

David Pawson, who acknowledges that Ecclesiastes has a “contemporary ring”, says in his overview: “Whenever Solomon [its author] brought God into Ecclesiastes, he became positive. Whenever he was limited to human observations and just observed human beings under the sun and in this world, and left God out of his thinking, he got more and more depressed. But when God came into it, he begins to be positive and to see life in a different perspective.” Life is focused when God comes into the picture.

David Pawson goes on to say that, “If you don’t understand the meaning of life from heaven’s angle and from the angle of the next world, you finish up a disillusioned, disappointed, depressed person saying, ‘Well, the whole lot was pointless. Where has it got me? I’ll be dead and gone and people will have forgotten about me in no time and I will leave no trace whatever over the 50, 60, 70 years I’ve spent here.’”

In other words, “If your vision is limited to this life and this earth, you will never understand what life is all about, or what makes it worth living. You need the perspective of God outside these limits of space and time. It’s only when you see life under heaven, in the light of heaven’s perspective, and this world in the light of the next, that you begin to see what life is all about.”

For more on living life to the full, you can read Any Direction (if you’re interested in music) or Wordsworth – Nature, Man, God (if you’re interested in poetry).

P.S. Whether you’re new to this blog or returning after a while, why not have a look at On Arrival or Return Flight to gather your bearings?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. rielajae permalink
    September 7, 2011 07:42

    Great post! I used to be so terrified of death because i felt it was the end of everything, the end of meaning, and it rendered my entire life meaningless. That was until I started really knowing God and having a relationship with Him.. when I got to read the book of Ecclesiastes (and from the Bible itself – God’s inspired word!), it really helped put my mind and heart into the right perspective. Everytime I struggle with unbelief this is one of the books of the Bible i really keep coming back to.

  2. September 7, 2011 13:05

    That’s really encouraging to hear, thank you! We need not fear death, because Jesus died so that we might have eternal life. I’d encourage you to read Romans 6:23, 8:2. John 6:68. 1 John 5:11-13, and of course John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”


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