Forget Simon…. Solomon says to eat drink and be merry! I was so intrigued when studing through the book of Ecclesiastes. Written by the man commonly known for his wisdom, this book is loaded with contradictions, pessimism, and extreme absolutes.
Solomon is reflecting on his life, a life lived well, full of achievement and prosperity, success and accomplishment, and yet emptiness. It’s a great reminder that a good life is still empty without the correct priorities and a heart-space that is filled with Jesus. It’s very true that apart from Christ, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) But Solomon reflections serve to remind us that weariness, folly, repetition, and the worthlessness of trying.
This meme is actually what caused me to peer deeper into Ecclesiastes.
Really? Really, Solomon? Laughter is foolish? Hmm. Grumpy cat indeed. Chapter one’s subtitle read, “Everything is Meaningless,” and “Wisdom is Meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 1:8 outlines that all things are wearisome, and verse nine complains of the mundane repetition, and restless dissatisfaction of life. Chapter two unfolds with “pleasures are meaningless.” He shares about building houses and planting vineyards, success and money, and in verse eleven, he laments: “When I surveyed all my hands had achieved, all my work work and achievement, it’s all meaningless. Nothing gained.”
Does life ever feel this way to you? Accomplishments are never enough, the cycle of our crazy busy schedules numb us into a trance. We have plenty, but want more. We work so very hard to not truly enjoy the fruit of our labor. Life is more than this repetition! Let’s not be this kind of normal.
As I continued to read thru Ecclesiastes, Solomon circles back around. He shakes off his negative perspective and reminds himself of what he has always known and believed. Laced throughout Solomon’s darkly clouded perspective was a common theme rooted in hope. Mentioned seven times in the twelve chapter book, Solomon wants us to know: There is nothing better under the sun than for man to be happy, enjoy the work that God has given us, the toilsome work that is indeed a blessing from God.
Have you heard the saying about having to smile on purpose because otherwise our faces naturally frown? I think that’s true in so many ways. I won’t quote Ricky Bobby and say, “If you ain’t first, you’re last!” However if you aren’t moving forward, you are loosing ground. Whether in relationships, health, your finances or career… if you not actively setting the direction on purpose, the natural result won’t be one that pleases you. We will naturally allow too much distance in intimate relationships, we will over eat and skip exercise, our attitudes will drift towards negative, and we will exhibit counter productive and critical attitudes. My mind, when left unattended is just quite a mess!
(I have much to say on this subject, and will continue more soon) But for now, let’s decide to live with intention. Let’s be happy. Let’s be content. Let’s enjoy life and laugh a lot.
Don’t let the cloud of today’s perspective make you forget what you have always known. God is good; this life is a gift. He came for us to have and enjoy life; a life more abundant. You have the power to choose happy today!
I have some practical and applicable tips I have used lately to help actively lead my mind towards happiness- stay tuned! More to come on this! #eatdrinkandbemerry #simplepleasures #dowhatyoulove #youdoyou