Are you enjoying life today? What about yesterday? What about tomorrow? Life can very easily becomes a grind that can be very discouraging. It is very easy for the follower of Jesus to lose site of each day when living in a rut. So what does the Bible have to say about living each day? It actually has a lot to say!
I am once again amazed at how relevant the Bible is to our everyday lives. King Solomon’s testimony in Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is “nothing new under the sun.” His life, as he shared, could become overwhelmed with the routine tasks of life. The secret to enjoying each day is our perspective on life. This is a gem that is often overlooked in Ecclesiastes. Solomon’s loss of perspective brought him to the place of hating life. It is a strong statement, but it reflects what happens when we fail to see God’s purpose in the routine aspects of life. He says it this way, “So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:17 ) I especially like the picture of the last phrase, “striving after the wind.” I am reminded how easy it is to see the routine aspects of life as being meaningless.
I know this as a pastor. My week is filled with tasks, that if I allowed myself, would lead to resentment and questioning their true value. My week is filled with a variety of different activities that range from taking out the trash at the Ministry Center to putting together an outline and PowerPoint for Sunday, to updating the website, to moving chairs, carts and setting up equipment each week to even writing this newsletter each week. The reason why I embrace and am able to enjoy these routine tasks is not because they are easy, but because of perspective. The Lord has helped me to see that this is part of His ministry for me just as much as studying, preaching a message, or sharing His truth with a person. If I were to allow myself to look at life through the circumstances, I would become resentful. Yet, when I see it as my ministry for Jesus, these task become a source of joy.
There is another aspect here too. I have often had others and even Pastors that have viewed our weekend setup say to me, “I don’t think I could do that.” Yet, what they fail to see is the way the Lord uses it in people’s lives. I get feedback on those that are blessed by the tasks I listed above. No, I do not hear feedback every week (and I don’t need too) but the Lord provides encouraging words along the way to remind me that He is blessing my service for Him even when I can not see it.
Let me end with a powerful challenge from Solomon that ties into what we have been discussing. “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?” (Ecclesiastes 2:24–25)
-Pastor Joe Parkinson