April 16, 2020
Volume 24, Number 14
I don’t know Anthony Miracola of Temperance, Michigan other than by what I have read of him in a news article. The article told of his setting a new Guinness World Record recently by making 35 shots in one minute from behind a basketball goal. It was done in an indoor gym that is attached to his home, and be beat the previous record of 27.
Last October Miracola set another Guinness record by making 94 shots from behind the official 3-point line in three minutes. That’s impressive. As a longtime fan of basketball, I know what is required to be that proficient at making shots. Stephen Curry is perhaps the best-known player in our generation for making long shots in basketball, and his secret is really no secret at all: you have to spend a lot of time in the gym.
So am I impressed with Anthony Miracola’s accomplishments? Yes. And no. Yes, I applaud him for doing what no one else has done – so far. But I fully expect someone else will one day break his record. “Records are made to be broken,” as they say.
I also wonder if this is the best use of one’s time. I base this question on a statement made by King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:2,3: “’Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher; ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?”
Some have concluded from that statement and others like it in the book that Solomon became cynical about the value of life. Like the old song that asked, “Is that all there is?”, some decide that there’s no real meaning in life, so why not just fling caution to the wind and indulge ourselves in whatever feels good or seems right to us?
The key phrase in that passage above – a phrase which occurs over 25 times in Ecclesiastes – is “under the sun”. Solomon’s idea seems to be this: If life’s meaning is only determined by what happens during our brief span of time in the flesh, then “all is vanity”. It’s like Job said in Job 14:1, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Is life worth living if we have to experience so many problems and trials?
At the end of his book, Solomon stated his conclusions, and they look “beyond the sun”: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14). That, he affirms is the meaning of life. If you only look “under the sun” you won’t get it.
I’m not judging Mr. Miracola for spending a lot of time in the gym. I’m asking him – and all of us – whether we’re following the advice of Ephesians 5:16: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Are there things more important than breaking records?
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2020, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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