Total Pointlessness

Tom Whittaker, a mountaineer who lost his leg in a 1979 car accident, continues to climb challenging slopes with the help of a special prosthesis. When interviewed recently he said, “One of the things that really attracts me to mountaineering is its total pointlessness. So I’ve dedicated my life to it.”

Upon reading this quote, I was struck by how ironic it was that someone would go to such lengths (he’s presently in the Himalayas trying to climb Mt. Everest,) to achieve things that mean and accomplish absolutely nothing. To his credit, Mr. Whittaker has at least the insight to acknowledge the futility of his life and efforts. Unfortunately, our world is filled with people who, unlike our friend here, pursue useless goals with the notion that they or what they do is actually important (i.e. movie stars, or even worse those who write about what movie stars think!)

Solomon deflated all such illusions when, after a life long search, he arrived at the conclusion that everything was total pointlessness (or in his words, vanity) not just some things. Thankfully, however, he provided one important and meaningful condition which put all of the seeming meaninglessness of life into perspective.

Everything, he said, was totally pointless unless it was understood and experienced through the eyes of faith and obedience to God. In very practical terms this would mean that our mountain climber, Tom, will miss the greatest experience of his life if he reaches the top of Everest, praising God for the view.