I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil–this is the gift of God. –Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
Are there moments in life right now where you find yourself “watching from a distance,” feeling as if some of the best moments are simply passing you by? Are you finding yourself busy trying just to make ends meet, trying so hard to get ahead…all with the hope of being able to enjoy things later? If so, you may also be finding yourself overwhelmed and spiritually exhausted in your pursuit for enjoyment and satisfaction. And the most frustrating thing is when we finally reach those moments we’ve been looking forward to, we sometimes lack the energy and the right attitude to fully enjoy them as we’d hoped to – what a let-down!
That describes a lot of people. Maybe you. Definitely me some days. What do we do?
Let me change the question a bit: How well are you ‘savoring’ your life? How many times in a day do you find yourself taking a deep breath, soaking up the view of the things around you and the beauty that’s right in front of you? The problem with many of us is that we’re working so hard to enjoy things later that we forget that we’re meant to enjoy things NOW. Look again at Ecclesiastes 3:12-13.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of officiating a wedding for some new friends of mine here in Greensboro. Something I’ve begun adding to the ceremonies I do is having the couple take just a few moments to look around and ‘savor’ the moment. About half-way through the ceremony, I asked them to take a deep breath and look around. It’s kind of awkward at first, until you see them crack a smile when they make eye contact with a few folks in attendance. Yet, it always seems to lighten the atmosphere a bit, helping the couple to lay-back and enjoy the next few moments. So often in a wedding, everyone is focused on doing things just right, not messing up, that they actually miss the beauty of what’s taking place around them. That’s not only true with weddings, it’s true in life.
Also this past weekend, Molly and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary (also, Jonathan & Jennifer Pugh celebrated their 1st!). Part of our celebration included taking some time to write down our “Top 10 things we love most about each other.” I can’t begin to tell you how gratifying that experience was for both of us as we took time to ‘savor’ our marriage through the things we find so beautiful about our marriage and each other.
The wisdom of the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that every pursuit for enjoyment in life is meaningless unless we begin finding it in the things that are right in front of us. If you were to take time to ‘savor’ the life around you right now, what would you see? What would you discover? 1 Timothy 6:17 tells us that God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. And I believe one of the greatest ways we return glory and worship to our Creator is to find enjoyment in the present…not allowing another moment to slip by unnoticed and unappreciated.