“I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.” Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
“There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people who are treated according to the conduct of the wicked and wicked people who are treated according to the conduct of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. So I commend enjoyment, for there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat and drink and enjoy themselves, for this will go with them in their toil through the days of life that God gives them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:14-15
Several years ago, First Christian held a couple events we called “Walk with a Doc.” Our physician in residence, Dr. Rudy Byrd, agreed to be the Doc who fielded health related questions people had as we walked through the West University neighborhood. Rudy answered various questions and on both occasions gave one piece of advice. Regardless of what you do for your health to eat well or move your body, he said, “Have fun!” Even if it was something small and for just a moment, he said it was important to do one fun thing each day. He emphasized the importance of enjoying life and intentionally carving out a moment every day to do so. Apparently, some studies have shown a correlation between joy, happiness, or enjoyment of life with heart health, mental health, and overall well-being.
It seems the writer of Ecclesiastes was on to something. In reflections on life, its meaning, and the vanity of it all, the writer proposes numerous times that human beings should enjoy life while they are living (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25; 3:12-13; 5:18-19; 8:15; 9:9; 11:9). Enjoy eating, drinking, and doing these with others. Life offers gifts to enjoy. Moreover, life in community holds potential for joy because it pulls us from isolation to connection.
Amid all the things going on in the world and our lives. Amid all that worries us, scares us, and threatens to suck out all the joy, we hear this encouragement: have fun! Do one thing you enjoy today. For God has given the day as a gift to live fully, love wholly, and relish deeply. What will be your one thing?