I read the book of Ecclesiastes this morning, and I pondered the meaninglessness of wealth, power, work done only for monetary gain, and a life that is lived without eternity in view. If I were to paraphrase Ecclesiastes in today’s words I would say: Live in the moment. Enjoy every bit of today that offers any joy, no matter how small. Treasure the moments with those you love even in days full of sorrow because life on earth is so fleeting. And Lord help me remember -what we do here on earth matters. Lord, don’t let my own burdens weigh me down so heavily that I can not listen to another’s grief or carry a bit of their load. And Lord, give me a smile that doesn’t just light up my face but lights up my heart and the hearts of those around me because even in the pain – you are GOOD and ALL you do is GOOD (Psalm 119). This is our hope and our peace. We are your children, and you are our Daddy God. When we are left as orphans (and yes, even when you are old yourself, when both your parents are gone you feel a bit like an orphan on this globe) you, Lord, hold us close (Psalm 27:10). Let us always remember our Creator who formed us out of dust and to whom our spirits will one day return.
After these ponderings, I took a walk with children that are precious to me. A thumb sucking toddler whose favorite companion is a small whale, but who will happily cuddle with you if his whale is included and if he is allowed to suck his thumb. The other is a blonde, three-year-old Wonder Woman, who can jump puddles, brandish a multi pronged branch, and clearly direct traffic as well as small critters that cross her path. And I paused in those moments – to enjoy this world and this day. The sun beat down warm even though our cheeks were pink with the cold. We jumped puddles – and missed a few times. The remaining April snow was brandished with the three-year-old’s stick and flew through the air onto my pants where the cold seeped in, and I remembered what it was like to play in the snow. We listened closely to a nest of baby birds in a tall evergreen and watched the mama and papa bird as they popped in and out caring for their little family. We waited for the mail truck to allow us to cross the road and pondered in thanks for these people who deliver our messages. We heard dogs barking and tried to determine their size and observed squirrels scurrying. And I pondered Ecclesiastes:
“Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning. When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life.”
“Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy.”
“God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.”