Other than the reference to everything being “meaningless,” Solomon’s advice here has a lot of merit. God does give us lives to enjoy. Whether we are young, old, or somewhere in between, we should be focusing on positive things, looking for the good in all situations.
I love the apostle Paul’s counsel in Philippians 4:8 which reads: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” While Solomon is talking about rejoicing in each day, it’s so much easier to do that when we approach each day with a positive attitude.
I have to disagree with Solomon–it’s not all meaningless! We find meaning when we complete our God given mission. If you haven’t experienced the joy of accomplishing a task on God’s behalf, I’d suggest you give that a try. What better way to enjoy life than to please God by introducing a fellow human to God’s love? That’s only one mission, what’s yours?
Having retired to Mexico years ago as a “young” woman, I was immediately surrounded by a lot of “old” women. Many of those women were great witnesses to what Solomon is talking about. They were rejoicing in each new day to live in such a beautiful place. On the other hand, I’ve also known plenty of older people who simply sit around waiting to die, wondering why God doesn’t “take them home.”
Each day is a gift from God. I’ve reflected on that before. We can receive that gift with joy and expectation or with little or no emotion at all. Psalm 118:24 comes to mind saying, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Our gratitude for each new day is how we can bless God in return.
If you’re feeling a little glum for one reason or another, muster up some joy by reflecting on what Jesus did for you. Your circumstances, good and bad, are temporary, and you are not alone. Ever. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit would come and be our guide. That promise alone just tickles me to no end!
Solomon’s suggestion for life seems a bit like an excerpt from a “self-help book.” He says, “So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy.” That’s great advice. If we do these two things, trust that God is beside us guiding our path, we can’t help but feel grateful. How are you doing at not worrying these days? How about taking care of your physical health with great diet, exercise, and sleep? What changes do you need to make to be more open to the joy of life?
Let’s pray. Father God, you continue to amaze me with how much you love us and reveal nuggets of wisdom in Scripture. Thank you for each new day that you give me to live in your world. Forgive me for those times that I let myself spiral into negative thinking. I know that holds me back from doing the mission you have given me. Help me not to worry but to praise. Help me to praise and be a great witness to those I meet. In Jesus’ name. Amen.