One of the important lessons I have learned in my "senior" years is to use the phrase "I did my best" very sparingly. Why? Its rarely true. I believe I can do just a little better on any given day in any given situation, but if I give myself permission to settle for less by repeating that phrase over and over, more often than not, I will fall short of thinking, doing, giving my best.
Having said that, I do appreciate Solomon's powerfully positive statement about doing the best I can. He wrote - "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him who can eat and find enjoyment? To the man who pleases God he gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 NIV
To me, Solomon is making a bold statement to all people who ignore Yahweh, who he is and what he does for those who honor him. God wants us to enjoy the daily process of living in a spiritual awareness of his presence and involvement in our lives. But if we turn our back to him and refuse his counsel, we may seem to have achieved much that proves our success, but, as Solomon observed, in the end its all pointless.
I think Solomon learned this lesson early on from his own father - "Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts him." Psalm 32:10 NIV Learning to "trust him" is a lifelong commitment, every day of every week, of every month, of every year! Doing that requires patience to always allow God to do what he does because he is God.
Jesus seems to echo Solomon's words with this timeless divine declaration - "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33 NIV
A faithless life is ultimately meaningless, a chasing after the wind, because it goes nowhere. No matter what one may achieve in the way of social status, political power, or just being able to put food on their table and a roof over their family every day, if that life ignores God, it is ultimately meaningless. The evidence all around us is far too great to overlook.
So, I hear Solomon saying to all of us, enjoy your life, do your best in everything and always honor God with and for your blessings. And, trust him to be there in the hard times. He pays back that faith in ways that no words can truly describe.