“Meaningless! Meaningless!” Lamented Solomon near the end of his life, “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes NIV). Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon discusses the various facets of his life. Wisdom, wealth, fame, youth, each of them were denounced as vanity or utterly senseless. Solomon had spent the earlier half of his life living for God; however, in the second half of his life he fell away from God and pursued idols. In many ways, the condition of Leo Tolstoy in his middle years is identical to that of Solomon in the latter parts of his life. Moreover, Solomon spends 12 chapters arguing that without God life empty. Similarly, Tolstoy concludes in his book My Confessions that, apart from faith, life is pointless. Solomon and Tolstoy’s mirrored views and life choices, both lead them to discover that God, or faith, is what provides meaning to life.
Up until 18 years of age, Tolstoy was, “baptized and educated in the Orthodox Christian faith” (Stumpf, Fieser 27). However, once he reached 18, he departed from Christianity. For a number of years after leaving the Christian faith, he valiantly pursued his own passions. Although he desired to be a morally praiseworthy individual, much of his time was spent in a depraved haze. “There was not a crime which I did not commit,” Tolstoy claimed (Stumpf, Fieser 27). As time progressed, Tolstoy’s idols morphed to be more inconspicuous. He no longer acted blatantly amoral but instead pursued comfort his family and himself. Taking a several thousand-year leap into the past, King Solomon led a similar existence. From childhood, he was nurtured to revere God from none other than King David. Despondently, after many years of leading a Godly, upright life, he de...
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... not spare any human pleasures, and yet God was still the only thing that they could find fulfillment in.
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