Ecclesiastes 6:1–12 (NKJV)
6:1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: 2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.
3 If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he—4 for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. 5 Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, 6 even if he lives a thousand years twice—but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?
7 All the labor of man is for his mouth,
And yet the soul is not satisfied.
8 For what more has the wise man than the fool?
What does the poor man have,
Who knows how to walk before the living?
9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire.
This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
10 Whatever one is, he has been named already,
For it is known that he is man;
And he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.
11 Since there are many things that increase vanity,
How is man the better?
12 For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?
People who work all their life, but have no joy or satisfaction in their work are miserable. Having riches, children, fine things can seem like admirable goals, but without fulfillment, they are empty and futile. Solomon even goes so far to say that a person with fulfillment and joy is worse off than a stillborn child who never experiences life in the world at all. Wise or fool, one whose desires are not fulfilled experiences vanity.
Even one who thinks he has his act together or thinks she knows her destiny and identity cannot contend with the One Who is able to bring that valuable contentment and fulfillment spoken of here. Who knows a person? Who sees his or her future? Who is able to tell one what will happen tomorrow? The question is not answered in this passage, but the implication is clear: seek God, who is able to bring fulfillment and show you the way to satisfaction!