I have a thing with words. Some sound so pretty to my ears, and some make me get the shivers. I’ve always been this way. It’s not normal….I know. And most of my friends love to frequently use words on my “most hated” list, just to watch me squirm.
In the beautiful genre are words like “chandelier” and “orchid”…or even “genre”. Aren’t they pretty sounding? They just roll off your tongue nicely. Then, there is the Most Hated Words list…newly added is “shiplap” (thank you Chip and Joanna Gaines for breaking my ears). Or my all time worst word….it starts with an M and ends with an Oist…. I can’t even put it together. You can figure it out.
This morning I was reading Ecclesiastes, and another word set off my radar. TOIL. Ewww.
I looked it up and toil is defined as working extremely hard or incessantly. King Solomon speaks directly to this. He says in Ecc. 2:24 “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil.” Then he goes on to say in chapter 3 that “taking pleasure in your toil is God’s gift to man.”
I could not agree more. When I take pleasure in my work, it is so fulfilling. Beautiful. Meaningful. But, what about the mundane. The incessant work I don’t enjoy. Where is God in that? Where is GOd when I’m not enjoying the toiling?
Ecc. 3:11 says that “God has made everything beautiful in it’s time.”
That is a promise I can hold on to. When I am not enjoying the mundane, the homework, wiping toothpaste out of the sink, stepping on sticky juice – When I wonder if my toil matters – If folding the laundry is making a difference in the world, in the Kingdom of God. God whispers, “In time.”
In time we will see what our hard work has produced. In time. “God has set eternity in our hearts (Ecc 3)” and we can be certain that we will see the beauty of our toil, some day, if our hearts are connected to His.
But, in the present we have two choices. We can choose to enjoy….or we can choose to strive. King Solomon says to FIND enjoyment in our toil.
These are some questions I need to ask myself daily….
Do you pray for the world while you fold socks?
Do you pray for your kids when you drop them off at school? Or drive past school? Do you pray that the Kingdom of God is being made known already thought them to their buddies.
Do you find yourself becoming a servant when you wash dishes? Is your attitude happy to serve? Or a martyr.
Do you have friends over, even when you house isn’t perfect, because relationships are more important than perfection?
Do you pray that God’s spirit is in your house before a dinner party. That your friends will feel comfortable, see Christ, and share their hearts? Or do you strive to make it look like you have it “all together?”
Why do you even want to have it “all together”…wouldn’t you rather be happy? Let me let you in on a little secret. Yes, yes you would.
Is all of life vanity, a vapor, meaningless? It can be. Or it can be fully enjoyed. We have to FIND it. Find ways to be enjoying the toiling. Searching this out, may very well be God’s greatest gift to you.