James 4:14 speaks about the shortness of life. He says, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." This is a reality all men are aware of. We experience new life around us in many forms and we experience the passing of it as well. Friends and family come and they leave. Some at a ripe old age, others at a sudden and unexpectedly short while.
With this in mind, Ecclesiastes 3 gives great thoughts about how to make life count. Here is what King Solomon has to say:
“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful
and to do good as long as they live;
also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil–
this is God's gift to man."
From the passage we gather the following ways to make life count:
- Choose Joy.
In John 15, Jesus Himself teaches us how to find joy. It is in staying connected with Him, keeping His words, and walking in love. There can only be lasting and overcoming joy when we stay intimate with our God. The world can only satisfy for a limited time. In good and hard times, it is only in God that our soul finds rest, renewal, and zest for living.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete."
- Do Good.
To do good is a profitable deed. In doing good, both the giver and the recipient benefit from the act. Both feel good; both feel the edification. To do good is to bestow something positive and beneficial on someone. However, at times, doing good may require us to withhold the bestowing especially when there is repeated abuse or when you need to stop a person from taking advantage of you. In the withholding, you set an erring person aright. Proverbs 3:27 gives us a good guideline on to whom and when to exercise goodness. It says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act."
- Take Pleasure in Your Labors.
Our Creator God set this example at the very beginning of the Bible. He immersed Himself in creative work and rested on the seventh day to appreciate His handiwork. In talking about Labor Day, Caroline Picard said “Enjoy a well-deserved day-off by honoring the time and effort you’ve put in all year long." That is well on point. There is a time for putting in the efforts and there is a time for ceasing to strive in order to rest, reflect, and renew oneself. Remember that our jobs are there to help us manage the needs of day to day living. But our job is not life itself. We don’t live for our job. It is a necessary tool that helps us meet obligations and attain personal enjoyments. Work is there to help us better minister to our family. It is not there to encroach on time and efforts we need to allot for family bonding.