Is That All There Is?
Serious fans of basketball will remember Oct. 6, 1993, as a significant date in the sport’s history. On that day, Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan faced the assembled crowd of media with their microphones and notepads, and told them the game offered no more challenges to motivate him. He was ready to retire.
Although Jordan would come back two years later, he was clearly disenchanted with the game that had been his life, although he was at the top, and the money he was making was phenomenal. Why would a man with everything under the sun walk away? Jordan, whose father was murdered earlier in the year, hinted at the answer as he told reporters, “One thing about my father’s death was that it reinforced how [life] can be taken from you at any time." Basketball—and the fame, money and excitement it brought—was no longer compelling enough to get the superstar up in the morning. As he looked at the prospect of another long season, in his heart he must have said, “Been there. Done that. Now what?”
The key words that described Michael Jordan at his early retirement were these: “everything under the sun.” You see, if our existence is only played out “under the sun,” if there is no spiritual realm to life, then even fame and fortune will get old.
That’s right. King Solomon proved the same thing when he tried it all, and returned time and again to this phrase: “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.” In other words, “It’s vapor. It’s air. It’s not enough.” Can you relate to Jordan and King Solomon? Have you had your fill of “flatland living?” Then consider the adventure of pursuing the Creator Himself... that’s an endeavor that never gets old.
Vanity of vanities, says the preacher. Vanity of vanities, all in vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2).