It may surprise you that God likes for us to enjoy life. Ministry is great, hard work is scriptural, and productivity is a positive thing and makes us feel a sense of satisfaction. And yet we can work, minister, be productive and feel a sense of sadness.

Part of the reason this can happen to us is that we don’t realize the value of time off, time away and just flat-out having fun. When we do things we enjoy with people we love we are experiencing a portion of the purpose that God intended for us to have in our lives. God created us to be relational. When we take time to hang out with people we like to be with, things like laughter and storytelling tend to happen; stories about the past that we have learned valuable lessons from and stories that help shape and affirm our value system. When this happens we aren’t being taught with a one hour lesson from a book from some author who emphasizes God’s truth, we are living the truth of the Bible out. We begin to see that most of life’s great lessons come from relationship. Plain ol’ fun for the sake of fun is good!  Look at what it says here in the bible:

Ecclesiastes 8:15

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun. (NIV)

1 Chronicles 29:22

That day the people ate and drank with much joy, and the Lord was with them. (NCV)

I am not talking about trying to have fun with your loved ones all the time and making that your only pursuit, but rather having balance in life and enjoying friends and loved ones along the way as God intended for you to.

We had one of those great days yesterday. I went with my family to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon. We took pictures, ate elephant ears and the highlight of the day was that my 73 year old mom and my 84 year old dad rode the zip line. We laughed hilariously. Afterwards we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows around the fire and then the stories started. Grandpa Ray told us about his youth, my sister talked about her hikes in the mountains and the funny stories followed. Life is good, I am so grateful for what God has given me. My wife, kids, brother and sister and I will never forget the zip line. I am smiling even now as I write this.

That is the point you know; to pause, refresh, relate and relax. Today I feel rejuvenated and ready to work hard with joy in my heart for my God who planned for this enjoyment to be part of my life. God really is good!

Ecclesiastes 11:7-8

7 Sunshine is sweet; it is good to see the light of day.People ought to enjoy every day of their lives, no matter how long they live. (NCV)

Grace and Truth,

 

Pastor Stan