So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:15

     Dear heavenly Father, the past few weeks have been very demanding, at times a bit discouraging and certainly quite depleting. I praise you that you understand my (our) frame, frailties and the need for refreshment. If you never commanded Sabbath rest, I probably wouldn’t take it. And If you never commended the enjoyment of life, I’d go to the extremes of either taking simply joys for granted or worshipping pleasure altogether.

     So today, I’m slowing down enough just to say thank you—thank you for designing us for pleasure… for the experience of delight… for putting sensate responders and nerve endings in our being that reflect your glory, as they come alive to the good, the true and the beautiful. Be praised for intending that joy would accompany us in our work (often, exhausting, thankless, and seemingly fruitless work) all the days you have given us under the sun.

     I praise you for the loud-stringy-splashing crunch of celery and the oohs-and-aah-generating texture of good ice cream. I praise you for my wife’s gentle kisses and my grandson’s limitless repertoire of facial expressions. I praise you for the polyphonic soothing sounds of ocean waves… the memory-connecting music of the 60’s… the well-timed greeting of a friend. I praise you for the permanent smile on the face of dolphin… the never-the-same array of sunrises and sunsets… the more-faithful-than-a-Swiss-clock ways you show up when I need you the most—ways which only confirm that the gospel is so much bigger and better than I ever imagined.

     Indeed, Father, life under the often beating sun has meaning, and more-than-enough delight, because of the life you’ve given me in your beloved Son. Continue to slow me down to wake me up to all the good things… the simple things… the little things you cram into this brief life under the sun.