I love young people. Working with adults drains me whereas working with young people energises me. I know for many people it would be the other way around but for me hanging out with a bunch of teenagers for a couple of hours sounds like fun!
Solomon speaks to those who are young but there's a clear message for everyone in what he says. He sees that young people are generally more able to enjoy things than older people. They have a clearer sense of fun and they're exploring and discovering things that older adults are accustomed to or even bored of. Solomon tells young people to go ahead and enjoy their life and have their fun and make the most of it. And to everyone (not just young people) he says we should try and enjoy all the days of our lives (v8). Older adults all too easily lose their sense of fun, exploration and playfulness and I personally think it's a real shame. I think a lot of adults could benefit a lot from learning how to play!
Anyway, there's a balance to be seen here in what Solomon says. Two dangerous extremes to avoid. The first danger is that we only focus on today and this life. We hear Solomon's advice to enjoy every day and that's where we leave it. We think that's what life's all about and we miss the point of the bigger picture. It's shallow and short-sighted. However, the other danger is that we focus so much on the bigger picture of judgement and eternity that it sucks all the fun out of living today. This is equally bad. Solomon says we should hold both in our hearts and minds - The 'now' and the 'not yet'. We should be able to enjoy all the grace to have fun in this life now without forgetting that we will be held to account and there will be an eternity where we will either be punished or forgiven for our wrong actions.
- How can I make the most of opportunities to have fun in this life?
- How can I make sure I remember the bigger eternal perspective in my life?
Lord, Thank you that there's more to life than what we experience now. Help me to trust you for forgiveness and remember that there will be an eternity with you in a new and perfect place. Lord, help me not to be anxious but to enjoy living in this certain hope by having all the fun to be had in this life you have given me now and in this way to share the story of the good news with others.