By Pastor Vinnie Cappetta
"Embracing God's Gifts of Life and Work"
Picture this: imagine a long, stretched-out ball of yarn that spans the entire length of a football field here in New England. Now, take a Sharpie marker and place the smallest dot possible on that yarn. This tiny dot represents your most significant accomplishment or perhaps your least favorite part of the past year. Now, step up into the bleachers and take a look. Can you even see that dot on the vast expanse of yarn?
If life is like that ball of yarn, stretching out so far that we can't see the beginning from the end, then it makes sense not to be overly concerned about it but rather to savor and enjoy it.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 reminds us: '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.'
Now, living in this part of the country, particularly in New England, you'll find people who often take life quite seriously. It's as if they've just stepped out of a painting, resembling the somber farmer and his wife holding a pitchfork. But I've seen a transformation in their demeanor when our football team, the Patriots, started winning Super Bowls. I once drove through a local town and spotted a guy standing in the middle of an intersection, decked out in Patriots colors, holding up a sign and cheering on his favorite team, urging passing cars to honk in celebration. His prayers had been answered, and he was determined to savor every moment of it. He didn't know how long his team's winning streak would last, but he didn't care; he was going to relish it while it lasted.
As much as I laughed at this guy's antics, I couldn't help but think he had something to teach us about enjoying life. In the verses we explored yesterday and today, Solomon reminds us that since we can't fully grasp the scope of God's plan for us, we might as well relish the journey. He encourages us to savor the simple pleasures, to eat, drink, and appreciate the fruits of our labor because these are all gifts from God.
Did you know that your job is a gift from God? Your paycheck, too, is a gift from God. In fact, everything good that you have is a gift from Him!
So, think about Proverbs 17:8, which compares a gift to a precious stone. Do you cherish God's gifts of work and life as you would a valuable piece of jewelry? Do you savor and enjoy them as you should?