I always felt kind of sorry for him, but not so much anymore.
Actually, I've come to understand that he was right, but not in a bad way.
Everything IS meaningless, and that knowledge drives us to find a reason for living. This is a good thing. Understanding that most of what we do and accomplish doesn't last drives us to search for meaning, for a reason to take the next breath.
And that's where Solomon got into trouble.
His dad, David, also thought life was meaningless. He did.
David, like Solomon, knew he was a sinner. He was drowning in his sins, in fact. Like Solomon, he knew that after he'd messed up big time, his good intentions had failed. He'd done very little right. He'd tried, but was not a worthy king, a good friend, or a successful husband and father. Like Solomon, he'd messed it all up.
But unlike Solomon, he didn't sink into melancholy over it.
Unlike Solomon, he didn't lose his reason for living.
Why? In spite of all the wrong turns, God was not enough for Solomon.
But God was more than enough for David.
How can we tell? Look at the symptoms.
Frustration = lost reason
Fear = lost reason
Depression = lost reason
Loneliness = lost reason
Solomon had them all. David did not.
David had repentance and after repentance, David had God.
I must find God, too, if I am to find the source of a balance mind and heart and the source of all health. I must always know the only solid reason for my life.
I will never leave you nor forsake you.--Deuteronomy 31:8
God will take me beyond this life into eternity. He endures.
It's OK if everything is meaningless. I have God.