If you've ever seen The Matrix and its sequels, you understand the sadness that Neo faces when he realizes in the end of the trilogy that all of his work was for naught – he was yet another human "Neo" who managed to figure out the Matrix, and it was just a matter of time before the whole cycle would repeat itself. It was kind of depressing, really. Reading Ecclesiastes has a similarly depressing effect because it's a reminder that the things we do in life really don't matter. We're just caught up in a vicious cycle where we eat, work, sleep, and die. Then we get buried, grass grows over us, and a cow comes and eats the grass. Then somebody else eats the cow, works, sleeps, and dies, and the whole thing repeats itself. So Solomon, in all of his wisdom, stumbled onto something very important: what God does endures forever (Ecclesiastes 3:14). Therefore, what we do for God endures forever, too.
When I sensed that God was calling us to move to Brazil, He used these verses from Ecclesiastes to remind me that anything I build for myself won't last – but what I build for Him has lasting value. The lives that I invest in – discipleship, mentoring, and sharing the Gospel – these make an impact on eternity. Building a name for myself or amassing wealth doesn't last for more than a few years. Which does it seem like is the better investment?
Where are you investing? Do you consider eternity, or are your investments simply for enjoying this life and hopefully leaving nice things for those people who come after you? Maybe it's time to reconsider your choice.