Day 153 – March 20, 2024: Ecclesiastes 1-6

I didn’t think I really enjoyed Ecclesiastes, until I read it pretty carefully this morning. Now I think I like it. The author does seem a bit of a Scrooge and would never be classified as an optimist by anyone’s classifications, but he just might have a few things right. Well, that goes without saying, it is Scripture after all. We know from chapter 1:1 that the author is Solomon. We can guess that he is probably later in his years. He expresses how ironic, how vain is the word he actually uses, to think of those who work hard thinking that their work is going to last any longer than their life might last.

There is more to it, of course, and in the course of the Scripture he does lift up work as edifying but not as an end to itself, it is a means to enjoying this life more fully. I think the reason why I enjoy this Scripture now is that I recognize more than ever that our task is to work so that we can enjoy God even more today than we did yesterday. Our job is not to do God’s job, but it is to do that which is put before us, and even more, but not for the sake of gain or for the sake of acquiring even more, but rather for the sake of enjoying the life that God has given us.

You know for many enjoying life may look like kicking your shoes off and putting your feet upon on your couch and binge watching Friends. Well, that’s not really what the definition of life is for this author. His definition is that you do that which you were called to do and in that you take pleasure. When you are fulfilled in the Lord, then you can be fulfilled in all that you do, which may be work, or family, or pleasure. But if you seek pleasure for the sake of finding pleasure, then you have already missed the mark. When you do that which pleases you, then you are able to do that which is God’s will and desire in your life. This makes a lot more sense to me now than it ever did.

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