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<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-17474A" data-link="(A)” style=”-webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0); box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-17474B" data-link="(B)” style=”-webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0); box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and be glad.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-17474C" data-link="(C)” style=”-webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0); box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> 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<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-17474A" data-link="(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-17474B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and be glad.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-17474C" data-link="(C)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> 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)



I Love…….My New Gloves

I love MY NEW GLOVES! My friend Nicki, knowing… well….that I am really about age six at heart, recently sent me a link for gloves that glow in the dark. They are black with white tips at the fingers, and there are LED lights that light those fingers up. I KNOW! Absolutely fabulous. I had to order them. I wondered whether they would work. Thought I may be disappointed in them. But hey….why not give it a try? If it was a total fail, then lesson learned. But I got them today and they are really great.

Not only do they light up, but there are different modes, so you can flash all of the colors quickly, or they can fade from one color to the next, or they can flash each color separately. Finally I get to use Christmas lights even when it is not Christmas. And the gloves are soft and warm besides!

I love things that glow in the dark. I love things that light up. I think LED lights are absolutely amazing.
So OK…probably these gloves weren’t marketed for women in their 50s. Thankfully I have never lived my life always doing the traditional thing, or possibly I would be shocking people when I broke them out. Not one person I know will probably be surprised if I wear them. And we know I am not known for my fashion sense.

We baby boomers have gotten to stretch the age thing a bit. We don’t much care what we are supposed to do “at our age”. Proper doesn’t hold a lot of significance for us. At least in the circles I hang out in. If you hang out in other circles, I say “Ditch ’em!”…because do you really want to hang out with people who would prefer you be somber to sunny?

We should live lives of fun….and not be afraid to enjoy the silly things that capture our attention. Our ideas don’t have to match those of others….nor do they have to be age appropriate. In fact, I think if you are in a situation where you are living your life a bit too “appropriately”, you need to reconsider whether you are really living it well. I don’t know about you, but a bunch of boringly appropriate people are not going to dictate much of anything in my life. (Though I will pay my taxes….and obey the laws passed.)

Our life should be full of joy and carry a certain amount of silliness. I am serious about some things…too serious at times, I think. Therefore it is good to be encouraged to have fun and play. Friends like Nicki are usually good for making sure that happens.

So…I love my new gloves and I am sure I will enjoy wearing them. I am sure they will not be the only glow article that you see me with. Go on….add a bit of color to your life. Find something that brightens your spirit and go for it. Let’s exhale a bit and belly laugh, instead of holding our breath until we turn blue.