I’m spending some time with the book of Ecclesiastes lately and being reminded of the simpler joys in life. The book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament is a collection of King Solomon’s wisdom for how to live a good and Godly life. So I read on Friday morning that we should “ Live life and enjoy it.” It really is this simple: “Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward. “
The question seems to arise: what fills you up? We live in a culture where we often discuss what we dislike much more than what we like. We discuss the things we find annoying or who is “not hot” or what current ailment we suffer from. That is all good and well but the wisdom of Solomon seems to point us in a different direction. Instead of focusing on which things are not life giving, choose life now. Do the things that bring you enjoyment and bring glory to God. See, God delights in our delight. When we are filled up and joyful, our Father’s heart is content.
With this on my mind I took my kids skiing on Saturday morning at Alpental. It was a hazy and gray day down in the lowlands. But as we parked the truck and began suiting the kids up with their ski gear, the clouds parted and blue sky emerged in patches over the alpine peaks. It was glorious. Each ride up the chairlift was a reminder of God’s great power as witnessed in creation. For theologians, this is called the Doctrine of Revelation. It means that we know God is true by how he has revealed Himself through creation. It was breathtaking to witness the beauty of creation with my own eyes. I breathed deep and closed my eyes and received God’s good gift. “Thanks Lord,” I said to myself and pointed my skis down towards the bottom of the mountain. Later that night a group of friends gathered together for dinner, a glass of wine, and fellowship. The kids all played together in the basement and as the adults ate and talked and laughed and connected, I once again was able to say “thank you” to the Lord. He is the giver of all good gifts.
Solomon says in 8:15: “So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.” Yes, the days are given by God. We don’t know how many good days we’ll have, how many more alpine views from the top of the mountain or dinners with friends over a hearty beef stew. We just don’t know- and so we are called to enjoy life and give God glory through our thankfulness.
So I ask you: what fills you up? What gives your life joy and purpose and meaning? When is the last time you closed your eyes and said “thank you” to the Giver of the gift? God calls you to enjoy life. Are you able to receive this blessing today?