I had a frustrating start to the day…problems with our renter, someone not showing up to a meeting which was to take place at somewhere way out of my way…etc. etc.
I ended my office time by looking through a few books I had piled on my desk in a “to-read” pile that has gotten extremely too big. The chapters began with a brief scripture passage. One of the chapters had this passage as it’s beginning:
“Go, eat your food joyfully and drink your wine happily because God has already accepted what you do.” (Ecclesiastes 9:7, CEB)
The chapter was entitled, “Be okay with having fun.” The book was about messy experiences with God.
I love Ecclesiastes. It’s a way underrated book of the Bible that is seldom used, though I suspect many subscribe to its teachings. It begins with, “Everything is meaningless.” All of this work we do…is for what? So eat, drink, and be merry, and enjoy the gift of life that God has given us.
I’ve seen a lot lately about ministry burnout, teacher burnout…burnout in general. People being discouraged because of all their hard work not seemingly making any difference at all. I think the book of Ecclesiastes has a lot to offer those of us who are hard workers and think too much, care too much, and are exhausted and frustrated from others not caring at all.
Freedom…from expectations…from the chains that keep us tied to our work…and an invitation to simply enjoy life.
“I know that there’s nothing better for [humans] but to enjoy themselves and do what’s good while they live. Moreover, this is the gift of God: that all people should eat, drink, and enjoy the results of their hard work.” Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (CEB)
If you’re like me, this is not common sense stuff, but hard stuff. It’s hard to stop and really enjoy life…to forget the stress of obligation and responsibility and eat, drink, and be merry. But I do believe that God calls us to do just that, on occasion. To breathe the breath of God, and be filled with life anew.
From a minister who takes off Fridays, this is the beginning of my weekend. So happy weekend, friends. Breathe, eat, drink, and be merry. Enjoy the abundance of life that God has given you.