Greyskeil Stories #2 – All is Vanity

“Sincerity. Strength. Courage.
Humanity – all seems to focus towards the idea of our actions.
But the truth I came to realize is…our actions are not solid.
Not at all firmly planted in stable ground.
Some fail. Some succeed. But between these lines –
It is all a road of vanity and pride.
Does what we do really matter?
Is what we are doing right now, only a road leading to vanity?
..While those who fail wind up in a dead end of vexation..”

These were his words as he stood up in front of the class and shared to us his thoughts.

His classmates were silent. Stiff. Some felt weird. Some did not comprehend. Some ignored them entirely. But one thing I’m sure of is…there’s a whole lot of meaning behind those words.

I talked to him after class that day.

“Kaylan?” I said, as I approached him. “What did you mean?”

He turned to me, and shot me a look, meaning ‘Yes?’.

“What did you mean? You know. About what you said in class earlier…”

“Those were my thoughts, Jenro. That’s what I believe.” We both sat down, along the seats by the hallways, as he continued to speak, “It’s the reality of life that I question so much. The way we trust so much in our own abilities and put a lot of focus on what we do, that we never question at all, that…if one would think deeper…might actually be actions in vain. Just think about it.”

I didn’t understand that. But I get some of his points.

“You mean, you think that all is senseless?” I asked.

“Just as King Solomon says in Ecclesiastes. Vanity, Jenro. All is vanity.” Kaylan replied.

My thoughts were like gears shifting at that. I flinched. The Bible actually said something like that?

I went home, headed upstairs and picked up my Bible. Scanning through the book of Ecclesiastes, I spotted Eccl. 1:2 and Eccl. 12:8 – both verses had the same words.

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

What did these verses mean?

I thought deeper, and read through Ecclesiastes. The writer mentioned a lot about it: vanity and vexation. It was all about our labour–our actions–all leading to that end.

Turns out, it was what Kaylan had in mind. I was beginning to get what he meant from what he shared earlier. I don’t know, but judging from the pieces of the puzzle, and the observations that I make…

…he’s pointing out to humanity’s actions as something that are senseless and fading away.

It’s our labour. It’s humanity’s emphasis on our own actions that leads us to that product – vanity and vexation. And as Kaylan said, people who succeed with their actions end up in vanity, while people who fail end up in vexation.

I picked up a dictionary and looked up the definition of ‘vanity’.

One of its definitions were this: “Low table with mirror or mirrors where one sits while dressing or applying makeup.”

Mirrors. Looking at ourselves. Pride.

I realize it now. We may fail to see it, but between all these lines – between all these that we live for–we’re ending up in a desire to exalt ourselves and to make a statement. To be somebody. We expect to be praised or gain benefits from those actions. We’re doing one thing for pride.

And we’ve got to stop, and turn from those mirrors.

We’ve got to stop, and look someplace else – not on what we do…but to the only sure thing, which is God’s saving grace and redemption through Jesus.

It’s not about what [you do], but what Jesus has done for you.

 “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

You can also check out:
Law: All Vanity and Vexation of Spirit
Tenth Avenue North – House of Mirrors (song)

4 thoughts on “Greyskeil Stories #2 – All is Vanity

  1. Anthony Hellman says:

    What really matters is what we think.
    Success is only obtainable if we are committed to achieving the final result.
    In this society we live in our own dreams. Just like society has their dream.
    It’s our dream an our reality that counts.
    Vanity is just another fictitious stated created in the media.
    We all want to be better than. Until we are satisfied and happy in our own existence. Growth is not possible.
    Is growth not the reason we are live. To grow and experience our experiences as humans.

    These are just my thoughts.


  2. Hi Tacticianjenro –

    Key phrase of Ecclesiastes is “under the sun” (1:3, 1:9, 1:14, 2:11, 2:17, 2:18, 2:19, 2:20, 2:22, 3:16, 4:1, 4:3, 4:7, 4:15, 5:13, 5:18, 6:1, 6:12, 8:9, 8:15, 8:17, 9:3, 9:6, 9:11, 9:13, 10:5) … that explains where all the vanity is!

    “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Galatians 3:2.

    – Mack.

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