“What has been is what will be…there is nothing new under the sun.” (Eccl. 1:9) The teacher in Ecclesiastes obviously does not work for Apple, Inc. Something new is produced by Apple every six months, or just when you get comfortable using one of their phones.
The greatest source of anxiety in my life is the fear my cellphone will need to be replaced. My ability to learn new technology is fading fast. Each day is a new thing. Each new thing requires labor to learn and apply. I grow wearisome of all the labor and toil. How can the teacher in Ecclesiastes say, there is nothing new?
Then again, what exactly is new in our lives? Did human communication begin with cellphones? Did we not know entertainment until cable television? One of my favorite observations about new television technology is the statement, “It looks so clear. Like you’re there.” So, we are perfecting our ability to make reality look just like reality. Then we call it, “A new thing.”
Cameras capture melting glaciers in the Arctic Ocean. I’m told this is new as I fish on a lake in northern Minnesota. A lake formed by a glacier melting long before my life. The planet has warmed and it has cooled. Life has emerged and life has ceased. I believe in living in harmony with creation, exploring ways to reduce pollution, but there is nothing new under the sun.
All we have done in this modern age is replace one labor with another and one worry with another. Your junior high anxiety about homework is now worrying about a project deadline. There really is nothing new.
Strangely, I find hope in these words. To me it says, we cannot relive yesterday, nor can we live tomorrow before it comes. All we have is this day. God forgives your past, promises a future and places you in the present moment. Life is most profound when we live in the joy of the day given. Everything else is a chasing of the wind.(Eccl. 1: 2-11)