No Man’s Sky is probably one of the most “Ecclesiastical” video games to date. What I mean is that No Man’s Sky is very real, very raw, very deep….. very Solomon in Ecclesiastes. The game starts you off on a random unknown planet, scrounging for resources in order to survive the harsh terrain of whatever forsaken planet an unknown power just happened to place you on. If you do manage to finally gather enough resources to make it off the first planet, you soon realise that there are 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets in the galaxy you occupy. You’re lost and with no real direction or purpose apart from vague clues and message that slowly move you ever forward. You’re alone. When you do meet other lifeforms, they all speak in unknown languages, unknown tounges, some barely recognise your existence, others try to bridge the communication gap, others try to kill you. As I made my way through the game I started to realise how very real it all was and how it depicts almost the Ecclesiastical life. For Solomon, it seems life is very….. well….. real. Seasons come and seasons go (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), people mourn and people leap for joy, people live and people die….. yet life goes on (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11). For Solomon life is one big never-ending journey of trying to find meaning and purpose through various means like work, the accumulation of knowledge, friendships, parties, religion…. but at the end of the day, it is vanity. Even when you do get to the end of the game where you reach the centre of the galaxy (spoiler alert) you just end up at the very beginning again, on another planet, trying to make your way through the vastness of space meeting the same sort of people, visiting the same sort of planets, and building the same sort of technologies. Vanity indeed.
Ecclesiastes is my favourite book of the Bible because Solomon who was the wisest person on earth, who was a king during Israels most prosperous era, who had probably experienced more in life that most of us ever will, was so very realistic about the world we live in. No matter what one does in this life, no one will remember you in the years to come. One’s achievements will be but a speck on the infinite cosmos. For Solomon, there was only one thing worth doing “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). This verse in the context of the book (give it a read) brings to light a few thoughts I want to leave you with.
1. No matter what you do, no matter what life has you caught up in, there is a God who has, in Jesus, reached out to the world in order to shatter the illusion that this life is all there is. God is real, life then ought to be lived in light of that. 2. What you do, therefore, does matter (a bit contradictive I know) because God will judge us according to our deeds whether good or evil. 3. Knowing what I know about Solomon, he was looking forward to the One, Jesus, who would take away the sin of the world, your sin (John 1:29; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:5; 1 John 2:2). Therefore, if you’re in Christ, the day of judgement is actually a day we look forward to, not something we’re to be afraid of. 4. This sort of confidence is available to each and every one of us. Stop living your life aimlessly, travelling through this world without a purpose or a hope. Rather trust in Jesus. The life He offers is abundant, full of joy, meaning and lasting hope (John 10:10).