"I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man." Ecclesiastes 3:9-10
As I prepared to teach Ecclesiastes this week, I thought of this post that I wrote in 2010.
What a wonderful trip our entire family took this month!
Although we saw great sights and enjoyed good food, the highlight was being with those I love most. Perhaps revisiting some places I had seen previously made it easier to live in the moment, or maybe realizing that such opportunities are rare gave me a sense of the present. Whatever it was, time seemed to stand still as we sat outside at Parisian cafes, walked on the beaches of Normandy, or enjoyed Belgium waffles together.
Why is it so hard to savor the moment? Why do I fail to drink in time with people and with God? In my busyness I’ve been guilty of seeing people as an intrusion rather than God’s appointment. At my worst, I have rushed time with God to get on with the real work of the day. Who am I kidding? How can I lead others to God’s still waters when my waters are churned up by busyness and worry?
So why was this experience different?
This time I had a great sense of contentment with simply being there. I had no expectations or agenda, but I joyfully accepted whatever came. Because I was content, I was able to accept the reality of the moment and enjoy its blessings.
To appreciate the present, I must learn to be content like Paul (Phil. 4:11). That involves trusting God’s agenda for my schedule, accepting my circumstances as His sovereign plan, and letting go of the false idea that anything is more important than spending time with Him and other people. As a result, I pray that I begin to live in the present and savor its joys.
What about you? What discontent robs you of enjoying each moment?