Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good.
These are the words of Israel’s wisest king, King Solomon. The Book of Ecclesiastes is his reflections about all he learned in life. At least it is my understanding that King Solomon is the author. There are different thoughts about who penned these words, but I like to think it was King Solomon as he, when he was given the opportunity from God to ask for anything, asked for wisdom. I like to think that he experienced everything people typically want to experience, and within this book of wisdom, he reveals the greatest lessons he learned. In many of his observations about human life he declares that the efforts of mankind are ultimately vain, empty, meaningless–a mere chasing after the wind. So, of all the things that he observed and experienced, what was the one thing he saw that was truly good?
It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.
The ultimate good that man can experience is to be content with who he is, what he has, and what he does. To recognize that his lot in life was sovereignly planned, and that God has a reason and a purpose for all life.
Usually at this time of year, I think about what I want to accomplish in the upcoming New Year, and I write down some goals. I start planning how I will accomplish those goals and imagining what it will feel like when those goals are realized. Last year my goal was to finish a half marathon in under three hours. Didn’t happen. I did finish a half marathon, but due to cramping and spasms in my right calf muscle, I had to walk the final four miles, and I finished in 3 hours and 15 minutes. So, do I beat myself up about not reaching my goal? No. Did I fail. NO! I’m not going to quibble about 15 minutes. And, yes, I have some running goals in mind for 2015, but I decided that there is something much more important for me focus on this year–contentment.
I, more than anything, want to find a way to remain in a state of happiness and satisfaction with who I am, what I’m doing, and to recognize all that God is doing in the present and to realize that my life and everything and everyone in it are a gift from Him. I want to be aware of all the wonderful things God is doing in and through my life, right now. I don’t want to miss living in the present.
To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life–this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past [or worry about the future].–Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 (italics mine)
What a concept! To be busy just enjoying life. That’s what I want most.