My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

28 May 2005

Loving Life

I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they life; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil-this is God's gift to man. I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. (Ecclesiastes 3:12-14)

How am I living this life? My actions, thoughts, words, the books I read, websites I visit, time I spend with family...all of this betrays what I really think about this life. Am I loving it, believing with actions and attitudes that pleasure is God's gift to man?

I have found in Ecclesiastes that the same actions (reading, eating, drinking, sitting) can be great and vacuous signs of an empty, atheistic life...if one does them "under the sun," that is, without God in view. Those same actions, however, take on great and significant meaning and value when done "above the sun," with the Living God in view. This is the death-blow to asceticism, the Christian-life-as-funeral-march attitude. I am indeed a servant, but a servant invited to a feast. Hard times will come, hard work will have to be done - but good times are from God, and joyful times must be enjoyed as "above the sun."

Maybe another way of saying it is that feasting means nothing without fasting and vice versa. This world and life are hard, but they are also a good gift.

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