Chapter 10 is much like Solomon’s speech to the graduating class. Its a reminder that God is sovereign, people should be humble, and that apart from God’s wisdom you will make a mess of your life.
I know a man who lived well and for a majority of his life he trusted God. Yet near the end he became a fool and made some bad decisions. We are all only one bad decision away from ruining it all. It’s not how you start the race its how it ends that matters. (Ecclesiastes 10:1)
Sometimes we meet resistance in life just because we are foolish. There is story I once heard of a young man who wanted to be a lumberjack. He was younger and more athletic than the other lumberjacks in his crew. He showed up to the forest the first day and made the claim that he could chop down more trees than anyone else on the crew by the end of the week. So they went to work and sure enough the young and athletic lumberjack was leading the way and cutting down trees almost twice as fast as the rest of the crew. Eager to make his mark on the lumberjack world he worked through his lunches and while the other guys took a break. Somewhere around mid-week things began to slow and the young and athletic lumberjack was cutting fewer and fewer trees. Finally by the end of the week he had cut the least amount of trees and the foreman had to let him go. On his way out of the camp he went up to one of the older men who had been cutting down trees for years. He said, “I don’t get it. I am stronger and faster than anyone out here. I never took breaks. I worked through lunch. How did you cut down more trees than me?” The older lumber jack simply replied, “I took time to sharpen my axe.” Sometimes it’s not about how hard you swing or how fast you are. Sometimes as the old business proverb goes, “Work smarter, not harder.” (Ecclesiastes 10:10)
Application: Where do you need wisdom in your life? There are decisions that you need to make in your life right now. Some of them are somewhat small and inconsequential (like what will you eat for lunch). Others of them really matter. Like what kind of husband, father, son, or leader will you be.