There are not many things that are truly permanent. Guarantees rarely last for ever. And even if a product has a lifetime guarantee, it is often simply the result of a monetary formula where there is simply a calculation of how much loss such a guarantee would create for the maker. If the loss is acceptable, then the guarantee is made. No, we learn that permanent really rarely refers to eternal.
Oddly, though, the recognition that not all is permanent does not always lead us in the search for what is truly permanent. Consider this Christmas season. How many people just recently tried to find happiness in material goods? How many evaluated the relationship not on how much more human it makes them, but rather on how much stuff they gave or were given? Or, how much seek fulfillment by taking a drug to alter their consciousness? How many see their worth simply as a function of their net worth?
There are many things that simply cannot satisfy because they are simply not permanent. Only the eternal, God and God’s love, can truly satisfy. I think this is what John is getting at in the first reading when he refers to the world. It is not always that things of the world are inherently bad, but rather it is that they become bad when we seek to try to use the things of the world for what they are unable to give.