“Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and pursuit of the wind.”
Busy is good, but peace and a settled life is better, or a combination of both things, each in its proper context.
Better to have a bit less of this worlds good and have a peaceable life, than to be constantly striving for more and more, either money or success. To be constantly working and wearing yourself out, is a striving after the wind and therefore a fools game.
Many work very hard to get the so-called better things in life, but fill their life with sorrow and hard labour, that benefits them nothing and is wasted by others. Let other people make their own way and find ways to do the things they want to do, through their own ingenuity. Constantly labouring for the riches that will never satisfy anyone, is folly.
Less is better with peace…
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can’t carry anything out. But having food and clothing, we will be content with that. But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
1 Timothy 6:6-10
This expands the idea that Solomon is telling us, but with the perspective of the gospel age. Christ has come. God has invaded the territory of humankind and has provided a salvation that deals with our deepest of needs. God has made it possible for us to know eternal life, and the things of this world pale into insignificance. To be a godly person and be content with that, is great gain. We are thankful for the temporal provisions of this life, and are happy and thankful for them.
To chase after the wind and want all the other things in life that riches can buy, leads us into many hurtful and foolish desires, that harm our souls and lead us into slavery again. Paul, writes to Timothy, and talks about drowning people who chase the vanity and are ruined in the process. Many walk in these shoes, but we don’t have to. Even some Christians have been led astray and have pierced their life through with many sorrows from their greed and love of money and what it can buy.
Once again, we leave it all behind and enter the eternal kingdom with nothing but our souls and what they have become. It is futile to chase the physical provisions of life and lose our peace. Many choose them and lose their souls, preferring the pleasures of a sinful life, rather than the riches of eternity.
Less is more. Have a little of what you need and be at peace, rather than pursue the desire for more things, and the money you need to buy them, ending up spending your life striving for things that never satisfy you, or those around you.
“But you, man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:11-12