We have so much and yet we say we are unhaaaaapy.
We live in a time with:
- automated dish washing
- clothes washing
- air conditioning
- central heat
- mini-computers, TVs, and libraries in our pockets
- intercontinental travel
- cheap clothing and shoes
- fresh food and cuisine variety
- health care
- endless entertainment options
Most of us are very wealthy. A person making $30,000 in the United States has a higher quality of living than a European monarch in the 1800s. And King Nebuchanezer would have sold half of his Babylonian kingdom just to purchase your magical iPhone 5 with a cracked screen.
And yet we are often so unhaaaapy. Why?
I’ve been re-reading the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes (attributed to King Solomon as a testimony of his repentance), and I was struck with one of the most powerful passages in the entire Bible. It’s the last three verses of Ecclesiastes chapter 5.
Behold, what I have seen to be good and to be fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life which God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Every man also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and find enjoyment in his toil—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
He grants in verse 19 that God has given some people wealth and possessions. But that’s not enough. He adds “and the power to enjoy them and accept his lot.”
That’s it folks. Getting the best or next [iPhone, spouse, house, retirement account, car, jet, diamond, child, etc.] is never enough. It takes a supernatural superadded gift of being able to enjoy it. Solomon says, “this is the gift of God.”
Ultimately salvation and access to the Beatific Vision of the Holy Trinity (that is, Heaven) is our final goal and purpose for this life. But along the way in this life, we should also pray for the “the gift of God” which is the “power to enjoy them and to accept [your] lot and find enjoyment in this life.”
So add this to you prayers daily: “God give me the Ecclesiastes gift to enjoy whatever you have given and me and whatever you will give me.”
Dr. Taylor Marshall