Yogi Berra, the philosopher/ base ball player, once said, “It’s like deja-vu all over again.” I don’t know if Berra had this in mind but he was actually saying what the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:15. Like a broken record, humanity keeps going around in a circle- repeating the same mistakes. (Here’s a picture of a record if you’ve never seen one before. A broken record causes the needle to skip and the same part of the record is played over and over and over again.)
I can’t tell you how many men I’ve met that have made a mess of their life with their first marriage, only to turn around and get married to another woman with the same disastrous results. When guys like this come and talk to me, I usually tell them that there is a trend here- and YOU are the problem. You see, when you carry the same problems and sin into another marriage with a different woman, you’re going to get the exact same results. And thus, he repeats the same mistakes over and over again like a broken record because changing wives won’t fix the problem when the problem is inside you.
Ecclesiastes 3:15 is actually a hard verse to understand because it is a hard verse to interpret. The best interpretation suggests that what has happened in the past will happen again in the future. And don’t look to the future for something new because all you will find is the same mistakes repeated over and over again.
God, however, is searching for people that are searching honestly for him.
God is unchangeable
Ecclesiastes chapter three lays out the argument that everything that we see around us is temporary. It might last for a time and a season but eventually everything comes to an end. God is the only exception to this rule. He alone is eternal. He alone is unchangeable. He alone cannot be influenced by circumstances.
I hope you’re glad to know that God cannot change! That means that when circumstances change around you, he does not. When people change all around you, he does not. When life throws you a curve ball, it didn’t catch God off guard. No matter what “season” of life you’re in God doesn’t change!
Doomed to make the same mistakes
Ecclesiastes 3:15 is the other side of the coin from Ecclesiastes 1:9. Both are making the same kind of statements, chapter 1 demonstrates a life without God in the equation. Chapter 3 demonstrates life with God in the equation. Without God there’s nothing new under the sun. This means that without Jesus nothing you do, nothing you buy, nothing you achieve will ever bring deep, lasting meaning. It will all leave you wanting more.
Maybe this is why we are unable to learn from our mistakes. Like a dog chasing its tail, we keep going around and around in circles, trying to find something that brings meaning in life. Trying to find meaning in life from stuff or achievement is like running as fast as you can on the treadmill reaching out for something just beyond your grasp.
How do we break this cycle?
There is really only one way to break this endless cycle of meaninglessness. It’s to stop chasing after stuff that doesn’t satisfy and start chasing after God. Start pursuing the hidden things of God and you’ll find peace, joy, and meaning in life.
By the way, God is actively seeking out those who are turning to him only for meaning in life. Even those who suffer and struggle through hard times would say, it’s better to go through them with Jesus than to go through a life of ease without Jesus.
Are you ready to get off the treadmill? Are you done chasing your tail? Are you fed up with the broken record of living for yourself instead of living for King Jesus?