Why are people making more, owning more, and interacting more…and enjoying it less?
Solomon had everything: intelligence, pleasure, productivity, possessions, and long life. In spite of that, he said, "So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind." (Ecclesiastes 2:17) Really?
What are the secrets to enjoying your life…with or without all those things?
1. Enjoy Your Friends—
- Solomon said, “Two are better than one.” This is synergy, when a combined effect is greater than two individual effects. Friends create a power and momentum that you could never accomplish alone.
- Get in a weekly small group. Find a “Peter, James, and John” who are your closest and most intimate friends. Open up your life to them and be transparent. Enjoy sports, hobbies, meals, and hanging out with them.
2. Enjoy Your Work—
- We all seem discontented with work. We want a better job, better hours, better pay, better benefits, better environment. Have you thought about “enjoying your work” (because you HAVE work)?
- The “ideal job” is the elusive dream. Even when you get it, you want more. Be contented and thankful for all aspects of your job. Nothing magical happens at retirement. Working means health, productivity, and purpose. As Fred Flintstone said, “Ya-ba-dab-a-doo!”
3. Enjoy Your Children—
- It’s not HOW MANY children you have, it is how much you enjoy the ones God has given you! I have six children and eleven grandchildren (and two more in the “oven”). Believe me, I know about this. Which one would you not mind going without?
- Enjoy them. Play ball with them. Take them roller skating. Have a weekly family night. Spend 15 minutes a day focusing on each one’s feelings, fears, and needs. All of mine are grown and married now and Melanie and I often say, “Where did the time go?” Our photo albums prove our experience together, but were we too busy to really enjoy them?
4. Enjoy Your Years—
- Don’t worry so much about how long you live that you fail to enjoy the days, months, and years you have left. I know that eating well, exercising better, and medical checkups are supposed to lengthen your life but they can never postpone your “final appointment.”
- Laugh a lot. Don’t worry continually about your “chances of survival.” Every once in awhile have that piece of pie. Eat and enjoy eating! Don’t torment yourself over every bite of food that doesn’t pass the latest dietary test. You don’t have to just LIVE LONG, you have to LIVE WELL.
5. Enjoy Your Spouse—
- I often think back 41 years to seeing Melanie come down the aisle dressed in white. We celebrated that day! Why not make every day for the rest of your married life a celebration?
- Enjoy your spouse. Lower your expectations and increase your appreciation. Tell them often how much you enjoy their companionship and partnership.
Enjoy your friends, work, children, years, and spouse. Be contented. Wring every drop of joy you can get out of every single day God gives you.
Live “above the sun."