Secrets of a Contented Life: Enjoy the Journey

Note:  I am a bit behind in these posts, week 3 should have been posted LAST week!  I wrote almost the entire post last week, but didn’t have a chance to wrap it up, so you’re getting this a week late.  Apologies!

This week marked week 3 of the sermon series at church…and man, it was a good one.  We continued to explore Ecclesiastes, working through Chapter 9.  As the title suggests, this week theme was Enjoy the Journey.  Dr. Thielen had 4 main points to share with us about enjoying life, all taken from Ecclesiastes.

 Ecc. 9:3, 5-7 This is an evil in all that happens under the sun, that the same fate comes to everyone…The living know that they will die…Never again will they share in all that happens under the sun…Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do.

This passage is a reminder to appreciate the simple gifts of life.  Enjoy the gift of life has given you NOW. We all know that life is not forever.  There are always reasons to put off happiness and joy.  We have all fallen to the statements: “I’ll be happy when I graduate college and have a job” or “I’ll be happy when I’m married”, “I’ll find joy with the children”, “I’ll truly enjoy life when I’m retired.”  Sure, these life events may bring happiness and joy.  But why WAIT?  God wants us to enjoy every minute of the life He has given us.

Ecc. 9:8  Let your garments always be white; do not let oil be lacking on your head.

Remember to CELEBRATE.  Garments of white and oil on ones head are symbols of festivity.  Life is full of pain and struggle, there is certainly lots of negativity we can focus on.  But God is a God of JOY!  He wants us to celebrate the goodness in life, not focus only on all of the pain.  Celebrations are shown throughout the Bible.  In John 2, Jesus attends a wedding and turns water to wine so that the celebrations may continue.  As Christians, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, as well as his resurrection.  So remember to celebrate all the great things God puts in your life.

Ecc 9:9  Enjoy with the wife whom you love.

Here, Ecclesiastes says to Enjoy your RELATIONSHIPS.  The passage reads wife, but we should enjoy all relationships, not just marriage.  Focus shouldn’t be on the hustle & bustle of chores, but on spending quality time with those you love!  It’s the memories you make with people that you’ll remember…not all of those tedious chores that “have to get done.”  Let the dishes set a few hours, they’ll still be there when you return.

Ecc 9:10  Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might.

Let’s WORK WITH ENTHUSIASM.  Sure, some of the things you have to do (those dishes you let sit to enjoy time with those you love) aren’t so fun.  But what’s the point of going through life only exerting half the effort and usually getting half the result.  I think everyone has had an experience in life where they wish they would have worked harder on something.  We all fail at this one, FOR SURE!  But the point is to attempt to work hard, putting your whole self into whatever it is you are working on. I would like to add PASSION to this.  We should work passionately, giving not just our time but our energy and devotion to the task at hand.

Let’s ENJOY THE JOURNEY, making sure we enjoy the simple gifts of life, take time to celebrate, enjoy our relationships with family and friends, and work with enthusiasm.  Strive to live in the moment, not pushing the good stuff off to the future.  Enjoy life NOW!