"And I commend joy,
for man has no good thing under the sun
but to eat and drink and be joyful,
for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life
that God has given him under the sun."
The book of Ecclesiastes can be depressing to me. It seems that King Solomon was a bit depressed himself. He saw much futility in life, in the things that we go about day in and day out. He saw the evil succeed, the good fall, the seeming futility of so much in life. But there are verses that enlighten and encourage, and this is one of them. I do not for a minute think that he is saying to give up on the important things in life and just do what you want instead of what you should. He says at the end of the verse that God has given us tasks to do. Our responsibility is to carry out those tasks, and I believe it is our duty to do them well. But that's another post!
As I read this verse, I began to think about the things that give me great joy, or cause me to enjoy life (NIV) ,or to have pleasure (NASB). I could not think of anything of great monetary value that gives me joy. Nor could I think of "things" that give me a real enjoyment of life. I love my nice home; it gives me comfort. But it does not give me joy. Some of the things that give me joy:
Flowers in my kitchen window
Seeing a grandchild earn a medal for memorizing a large portion of Scripture
A trip to the mountains with my husband, my best friend
Being privileged to help home educate a precious grandchild
Taking a cake decorating course with another grandchild
Having mother-daughter tea parties with friends and family
Going to church with my family and beloved fellow worshipers
Getting up in the mornings and having breakfast in the garden
Having a morning quiet time
As I sit here and contemplate what brings me joy, I am so thrilled to see that my enjoyment of life does not come from the things that burden me down with having to achieve according to the world's standards. The simple pleasures of life are those that bring greatest joy. There is much to do in this life, and most of it is not easy. God did not give us that life of ease, but He has given us those special things to bring us joy.
What gives you joy in life? Take time to enjoy the simple pleasures that surround you daily. Our time on earth is short; let's enjoy it!
Presented with joy,
Today I am joining Linda at Prairie Flower Farm