The Challenge – Day 4

Those who know me know I’m a big believer in fun. I get a bit impatient with some people….OK, some of “these people” include some of you….because they (you?) seem to feel like it is something to feel guilty about. Some Christians act like a somber spirit and holiness are synonymous. Nope….I don’t believe it, and it’s not supported by scripture either. So ease up….wrinkle that face in a good round of hysterical laughter….and enjoy this great and marvelous world.

King Solomon had some issues. A fun guy to read about, a fun guy to read from. His life twists and turns a lot…takes you on a journey. I identify with one of his issues….he’s always, painfully, trying to wrack his brain and figure everything out. His book of Ecclesiastes is at times depressing, but then also encouraging. Here’s one part I particularly like and want to share today…

So I commend the enjoyment of life, , because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.  Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:15 (NIV)

Or in another translation…
“So I think we should get as much out of life as we possibly can. There is nothing better than to enjoy our food and drink and to have a good time. Then we can make it through this troublesome life that God has given us here on earth.” Ecclesiastes 8:15 (CEV)

A secret about me. I struggle with this sometimes. (A few folks have just laughed out loud.) But really, I do. I have a strong intense side….Kim the introvert, Kim the thinker. That side wants to sit around and puzzle on all of the great issues of life. That side is the worrier. If left to my natural inclination, I would worry about everything, including every aspect of not only my life, but the lives of everyone else. Some of you make it difficult to abstain.

But God….

I’ve learned that trusting God is saying “no!” when these anxieties tend to take over. I’ve learned it is treating life as a precious gift. I’ve learned that our world is this amazing smorgasbord and we get to run around and test and try and enjoy ourselves silly. Eating, drinking and being glad….that is not only very, very good….but why God built us this fabulous playground.

We have responsibilities. Many are serious. We should take them seriously. We have heartache and let’s face it, people break our hearts continually, and it is so sad, maddening, and frustrating. It can suck our energy, our hope, and our joy. But if our whole life is wrapped in the serious….if we are living stress….perhaps we need to make a change. Perhaps we aren’t acknowledging the power of God and watching him at work. Maybe we’re not stepping aside and letting him go ahead.

We all struggle with life periodically. It certainly has its peaks and valleys. Certain areas of my life aren’t satisfying. They don’t bring joy to my days…or I should probably say “enough” joy to my days. They make me forget what my priorities are and add darkness to my world. I’m working on leaving the darkness behind and living in the light.

Some of this discontent can simply be changed by how I approach my life. Sometimes you need to make changes to your life, sometimes you need to make changes to your attitude. I’m fortunate that most of my life is fun. It’s designed that way. But these things that plague me, the things that most often bring me to my knees, are often not the things that I would put to the top of my list of life’s priorities. Let me say that again in a slightly different way, because I think some of you may relate. The top anxiety producers in my life aren’t even the things that are most important to me. How crazy is that? So…in some ways that should make it easy to sort out….yet many of us know it is so, so difficult.

Did you laugh today? Did you notice beauty? Did you connect with people you like and respect, people who encourage you and light up your spirit? A light heart travels easiest through the darkness of life.

Eat, drink, and be glad, then joy will join you in the toil. I think perhaps, if we put our mind to it, that we can do that. Whatcha think? Here’s to life!

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. 

Ecclesiastes 8:15 (NIV)

 
 
 

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