Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

people dancing

Photo by familymwr on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

If you could ask the wisest man one question, what would you ask? The meaning of life? Next week’s winning Power Ball numbers? Why bad things happen to good people and vice versa? What is most important in life? We all have so many questions and so many dilemmas that we carry with us through life, with seemingly little relief and few meaningful answers.

King Solomon had, for his time, endless resources in which to explore the deep meaning of life. He did it all, tried everything and came to a sorry conclusion: all that is meaningless. To him, all the endeavors one can take on in life are useless in the end. If you make a pile of money, have a successful business empire and all the trappings that life has to offer, you will eventually die and leave it all to somebody who did not have to work for it and can never fully appreciate your accomplishments.

As for the 85% of the world who work hard every day and struggle just to survive, there seems to be even less hope, unless you read on to see what the wise man concluded. At the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon said this:

Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—

Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind. (Ecclesiastes 12: 1, 13 NIV)

This does not mean that we are to trudge through life as if we were in a lifelong death march. No, Solomon also advised humanity on how to approach each day as we remember our Creator:

“So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 8:15, NKJV)

We are to enjoy our lives, where we are right now, rather than chasing after meaningless accomplishments and trappings that steal our joy during the chase and even after attaining them, should that ever happen. Find joy in the simple things, seek God in every mundane task. Go on, now, eat, drink and be merry!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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