Hipstamatic: John S, Ina's 1969
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
In context the above scripture is talking about the futility of our lives on earth. Nothing is ever changed by the toils of any one of us. As the author notes repeatedly, all is meaningless and a chasing after the wind (e.g. Ecclesiastes 1:14). We come into the world, we leave the world, and it is as it always was. Even the sun is engaged in a rut of daily activity with no new results to show.
Not to brashly rebut what a wise man wrote, but I do believe that we can change the world, one person at a time. In fact, I believe that is why we are here.
And, I think that there is constantly something new and different about our world. Sure the sun rises and sets every day. But, every sky painted by the sun's rays piercing a new arrangement of clouds and meteorological conditions is different. In the same way, each tree is robed differently and vibrantly with separately grown and colored leaves.
Just as each of these is different from one another and from day to day, they are constant. As I gaze up at pine trees that reach so far into the sky it is hard to see the topmost branches during my morning walks and as I watch the sun dipping towards the horizon each afternoon as I drive home, I take comfort in knowing that they were there long before me and will be long after me.
I see God's hands in nature and, rather than making me feel futile, it makes me feel loved and connected. As Jesus said:
(I am not a fan of lifting snippets of scripture out of context, so I encourage you to read them in full context as linked above. The links will take you to the New International Version (NIV) at Bible Gateway. It is easy, once there, to switch to any version of the Bible you are most comfortable reading.)