What's the Point? (A Study in Ecclesiastes: Part 2)



In 1940 Pinocchio came to the big screen. A puppet named Pinocchio wants to be a real boy, and the movie is his quest for his dream. He finds himself at Pleasure Island, a theme built to serve "stupid, little boys" who are disobedient and play hooky from school. Here the boys are free to do whatever they please, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, fighting, wrecking the place, and other deeds that good children wouldn't do. Food, alcohol, and tobacco are freely available on the island, and the boys are also free of the law and any parents or cops who could stop them from being naughty. Essentially, the island is designed to be the perfect paradise for bad boys. However, unknown to the boys, Pleasure Island actually serves as a trap. Once the boys have spent enough time being bad, they begin to succumb to a horrific curse over the island, turning them into donkeys because they have been behaving like destructive animals.

During this scene from the movie, a food barker can be heard yelling, “Right here, boys! Right here. Get your cake, pie, dill pickles, and ice cream. Eat all you can. Be a glutton. Stuff yourselves. It's all free, boys. It's all free. Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry!”

Q was not familiar with pleasure island, and nor are we in a literal sense, perhaps. However, in his quest to answer the question, “what’s the point?” Q does apparently run headlong after the pursuit of pleasure. And in light of how hard this life is, this is an option. Forget the difficult tasks of being responsible, working hard, doing good, and just running headlong after what feels good.

Ask Yourself: What kinds of pleasure tempt you? How does the scene from pleasure island both resonate with you and repulse you?

Pause to Pray: Lord, open my eyes to discern how my life is a pursuit of temporary, even destructive, pleasure…

Take the Next Step: Watch the scene from Pinocchio and share with a friend over coffee how you react to it.