“Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, And let your head lack no oil. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
Solomon seems to be discouraged as he maneuvers the divide between this earthly life and the life after it. He is also trying to sort out the difference between life for the wicked and life for the righteous, he doesn’t seem to see much difference. His answer to this is to enjoy life here while you can, love your spouse all your days, and is still telling us that all of our days are vanity.
As I read and study these verses, I keep coming back to the topic of work and rest. Many of us live this life as though everything hangs on us. That God somehow needs us to accomplish His work on earth. And yes, He certainly uses His people to do His work and we need to be available and willing to be used by Him. And yet, there is a attitude that permeates our hearts and many of us live as if it all depends on us. We would never say that, and in our heads we know that, of course, God doesn’t need us.
But maybe you, like me, have spent your life feeling guilty for not being able to do more? For me, as a missionary, with need everywhere I turn, it is difficult to have to release the idea that it isn’t up to me, and that really, sitting at God’s feet in worship, or washing the dishes, or ministering to my neighbor all hold the exact same spiritual significance.
Theologian Robert Barron tells us that at the heart of original sin is the refusal to accept God’s rhythm for us and our life.
We need to remember that it is more than ok to have a good balance of work and rest. Of giving and taking in. Of busy and quiet. God himself operated this way as we see in the first chapters of Genesis. Jesus did this again and again during his earthly ministry.
Resting and bringing God into the rhythm of our days is holy work. Remember that it is ok to embrace the slow. To have pockets of both work and rest and even enjoying.
With Love From Uganda,
Week 7 Video:
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Week 7 Challenge: Today, and each day this week, take inventory of your time. How do you spend it? Do you have a good balance between work and rest? Of giving and taking in? Ask God to show you how to spend your days wisely, enjoying both it and Him.
Week 7 Reading Plan:
Week 7 Memory Verse: