Joy is rooted in the simple things of life.
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“So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work.
Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.”
Ecclesiastes 2:24 New Living Translation
It’s that time of year where our normal margin-less lives become even more margin-less. We have a tendency to schedule our day-to-day lives with so much stuff that we don’t have time to read the paper, help our children with their homework, or meditate on God’s presence. And now that we’re preparing for Christmas, we don’t have time to sleep.
We have parties to attend, gifts to be bought, and cards to send. The result is stress, so, we start barking at the children, eating more junk food, and feeling like a failure. Maybe we can learn a lesson from my grandson, Nolan.
He didn’t stress out about his recent birthday. He wasn’t worried about opening his presents, he simply wanted to play. Since it was such a beautiful day, he enjoyed his sandbox. He took out his Tonka truck, buckets and shovels. He moved sand from one place to another (adding a little garden dirt from time-to-time). He buried his hands in the sand. He laughed and he looked serious. He found joy in his work.
It seems that we grownups spend a great deal of time chasing after the wind, instead of enjoying its gentle breeze. The old preacher in Ecclesiastes grumbled and appeared fatalistic at times, yet he knew what was important. Eating, drinking, and finding satisfaction in our labor might not seem all that satisfying to us, but they’re the simple things of life.
What makes these simple things even more enjoyable this side of eternity is knowing that Christ has redeemed us for a life of joy in his presence. We can stop chasing the wind because the Spirit of God assures us of our eternity. It is this Spirit who blows joy into our lives as we eat, drink and find satisfaction in our work.
Copyright Douglas P Brauner