Simple Pleasures (44 min)

Title: Simple Pleasures (44 min)
Message Description:

Just after I married my wife, years before the advent of digital photography when we still had our photos developed, she helped me throw away about two full-sized trash bags of photos that meant nothing to me. They were pictures of benches, trees, sunsets (mostly in places I couldn’t recall), wall lockers (I’m a military guy) birds in a yard, beds, sidewalks, windows, hallways, etc. Weird photos I guess of a young man trying to make up for lost time having only a handful of pictures from his first 18 years of life. I could hardly remember where I was when I took most of them, or why I had taken them. When I took them I suppose I thought they’d mean something, but they just didn’t. I noticed, however, that the few photos that remained after the purge were the pictures of friends and family. They were the ones that still meant something. They were the pictures worth keeping. Very few of the others remained. They (the people) made the world truly worth something. This taught me something. It taught me that a picture of a playground-even one you perhaps frequented as a kid-is something, but a picture of that playground with you and your best childhood friend on top the monkey bars is priceless. Now, imagine a world without its Creator…without its God…without its meaning. What a worthless thing that would be. This helped me in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

“Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.” Ecclesiastes 5:18. I want to try to make at least some sense of this truth with you today if I can. This passage has truly been on my mind this past week. Time flies, reader. It just flies on by! And the older I get the faster it seems to. Or maybe I’m just becoming more aware of it as more of it gets behind me. The entire first part of Ecclesiastes carries remarkable truths made to meet people in life in the humblest of places. I don’t know where you are in the world or what you do with your days, but God’s words are never to be far off from you. Ecclesiastes gives us a rare view of a life vainly lived apart from God from the perspective of a man close to God. In some ways, this sentence could summarize much of the book. These words from King Solomon meet us in our homes. They meet us in our swimming pools, dinner tables and churches. They meet us at our workplaces and everywhere else along the way. Solomon had access to pleasures most of us even today could never have. He was somewhat uniquely positioned therefore to grasp the result of enjoying anything aimlessly, or even sinfully in life, for the edification and instruction of the world. In his experiences, God inspired his words to teach us something of the meaning of life that’s driven believers in every generation to appreciate their days more since these words were first written. They’re as applicable to us today as they were on the porches he perhaps penned them on. Don’t waste your life of vain things. No life lived for Christ could ever be such a thing! I pray this brief talk helps you focus in life on what truly matters most. Blessings!

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