“Eat, drink and find pleasure in your toil”
- Ecclesiastes 3: 13
Yes, the Bible actually says to eat, drink and be merry. Now it doesn’t say eat to the point of gorging ourselves or drink to get drunk or find pleasure at another’s expense, but the Bible, particularly in the book of Ecclesiastes, says that it is good to enjoy life - specifically to find joy in work we’ve been given, the life we have right now. Look around, seek the good things and enjoy them. The world and all that is in it belongs to God. God gives this world to you and me to care for and to delight in - your life is a gift given for the sake of the world and it is meant to be enjoyed
The wisdom of living in the moment, fully appreciating the small things is such simple wisdom and still so surprisingly difficult to live. Even as I write this article I am thinking ahead of an upcoming youth trip, planning my vacation in August and thinking about my family reunion in October. All this instead of finding joy in the gorgeous summer day and the privilege of writing an article. What a joy to have a morning to wonder about God and share that with you (and I get to call it work!).
The wisdom of Ecclesiastes is looking at the everyday stuff of life and finding pleasure. Find enjoyment in your breakfast, in that cup of coffee, in the garden fresh tomato, the fresh, smog-free air in your lungs. I invite you to take a moment to enjoy the feel of the newspaper in your hands, remember the ones who taught you to read and the importance of being connected to your local community. Sometimes joy comes passively, it just happens, but other times you and I must search out the goodness of a moment, the joy of the small things that we easily take for granted.
I hope that you are able to pause each day to gives thanks, to enjoy the simple joys of life - the pleasure of eating, drinking, and doing - of being alive! And as we approach this 4th of July, I hope you take time to delight in the things that are most valuable: community, family, freedom, justice and the hope and work for peace and wholeness for all peoples and all lands.