Disillusioned with Life

The king was all alone in his study. Anyone who needed to pass by the little room did so on tiptoe. They knew from experience how Solomon felt about being distracted when he was writing. 

Not that he was doing very much writing this evening – he was watching the sunset instead.

The sunset was worth looking at. The setting sun had painted a flaming panorama of color in the western sky — a fiery scene you could almost warm your hands at. But the king didn’t seem to be enjoying the sight. His face was gloomy, as if he were brooding over some unhappy thought.

“The sun rises every morning,” the king said. He didn’t wait for an answer, since no one else was around to hear him. “And it sets again every evening.”

“It’s done that about…” He paused and cogitated a moment before finishing, “It’s done that almost 20,000 times since I was born. Why?”

The king rose abruptly to his feet, pushing aside his quill pen and the scroll he had been working on. “Everything is like that. The sun, the wind, the rivers — all of them keep on going, doing the same things mindlessly over and over.” 

He stood for a moment, deep in thought. “It just doesn’t make sense. It seems so meaningless — just an endless, vicious cycle.” He turned to leave the room. 

Yet he hesitated at the doorway and looked once more at the now fading sunset. The frustration on his face had given way to an expression that was harder to read. A searching look, trying to penetrate the meaning of what he had seen. Almost an imploring look. A sort of God-why-won’t-you-answer-me kind of look.

His shoulders sagged as he entered the palace.

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