As a Christian, I maintain a regular habit of reading my Bible and journaling as part of my daily morning ritual. I can elaborate on that routine some other time; some days it’s quite involved and others quite simple, depending on the circumstances of the morning. Ecclesiastes is a favorite book of mine, and I thought I’d share a personal observation from this passage.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 NKJV
Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor – this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.
A prayer I often pray as a habit is a request for God to guide my family into being good stewards of that which He has given. So many times we hear stewardship referring only to the financial part of our walk with God. Stewardship has come to mean so much more to me since I discovered the joy of gardening & taking care of animals on our property. To do these things well, there is a consistent time commitment required. And, much like our devotional time with God, it simply doesn’t work well when it’s sporadic. For your garden to be truly plentiful and healthy, you need to spend time in it every day. Animals require daily attention and care to stay healthy, clean, & happy. Our spirits are very much the same. If we truly want a balance and to become more Christ-like, we must take care of them every single day. As I read this passage, I remembered the very first meal that our family enjoyed “from the land.” The deep level of satisfaction knowing that every item being served was nurtured and harvested on our little homestead far surpasses my ability to truly describe. I had a deep abiding joy knowing that my children were eating healthy, nutrient-dense, fresh food that would serve as a means of healing and restoring their bodies just as God intended our meals to do. Verse 12 of Ecclesiastes 5 reads, “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet.” I can assure you that ours was on that night!
God blesses us each with resources, gifts, and interests that are meant to be used for His Kingdom. They aren’t the same for everyone. How boring would life be if they were! But, as we learn to truly embrace who our Creator has formed us to be, we can truly be effective and fulfilled in proper service to Him. We become focused not on ourselves, but we are kept busy with His mission. And, we read in the Scripture that He will give us the freedom to rejoice in that labor and heritage as a gift.