Sunday, December 2, 2012

Solomon's Story (First Draft)

I was king of Israel, and I ruled from the city of Jerusalem. I decided to spend my life studying, to become wise and understand the things that happen in this world. I studied everything that happens under the sun and none of it meant anything. It was like a dog chasing cars.

And I said to myself, "I am the wisest king my country has ever had. I know as much as anyone in the world about wisdom and knowledge." So I stuck with my study of the world. I studied madness, and folly. And I realised that my wisdom didn't mean anything, either. I was no better than a dog, still chasing those cars.

So I stopped studying and started having fun, just enjoying myself. And the fun meant nothing. Laughter got nothing done, fun got nothing done. I started drinking and acting like an idiot. If human lives were short, I might as well do whatever.

I built things. Great projects and monuments. I built more houses for myself, and vineyards, and gardens and parks with all kinds of fruit trees. I built dams and water tanks so I could water my trees. I owned slaves, and sheep, and cows: I was the richest man who had ever lived in my country. I had silver and gold and music and sex - all the things that make a man happy. And I was still wise.

I knew that it was better to be wise than be an idiot. But then I realised that I was going to die, just like an idiot; and death wasn't going to care that I was wise. So I hated all the things I had built, and all the wealth I had, because it was all going to go to someone else when I died.You can work as hard as you like but it won't last. What do people get out of all their hard work? So I hated the whole world, and I decided it meant nothing.You can't do any better than eating, drinking, and enjoying your work. But no one can enjoy anything without God.

I looked at the world and saw that in the places where it was supposed to be fair and just, it was evil. And I decided that it was like a test. A test so that humans can see that they aren't going to live forever. And who knows what happens after we die? I saw that there was no point being envious of someone else. And there wasn't any point being greedy. Nothing we have will last after we die.

So I decided the best thing anyone could do was eat and drink and enjoy their work. It's a gift from God, and people who are happy don't worry about how long they are going to live. Some people are rich, some people are poor. Some people live for a long time, some people die young. But they all go to the same place. Sometimes good people die because they are good. Sometimes evil people live for a long time because they are evil. And really, no one in the world is always a good person. God created humans to be good people but none of us are.

I realised that wisdom is better than being an idiot, and better than power. But even a wise person dies and is forgotten. There is so much to learn that no one can learn it all. The only thing you can do is to listen to God and obey his instructions. Because everything you do gets judged eventually, even the things that you do in secret.

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