Enjoyment as an Act of Obedient Love

     So I commend the enjoyment of life

because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. Eccles. 8:15

Heavenly Father, I woke up in Montana today, and it is jump-starting my joy and fueling my worship. Thank you for commanding Sabbath rest and daily joy. If you never commended (and commanded) the enjoyment of life, we’d probably go to the extremes of presuming the right to simple joys, feeling guilty about having fun, or worshipping pleasure altogether.

So today we’re slowing down enough just to say thank you. Thank you for designing us for rest, pleasure, and delight. Thank you for giving us sensate responders, nerve endings, and smile muscles. Father, thank you for taste buds, acoustic responders, and optic wiring. Thank you for intending joy to be our traveling companion all the way Home.

Thank you for the aroma of anything baking with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon on it; for Aspen leaves dancing in rhythm to a breeze, and the beauty of hand-painted trout (we hope to catch today). Thank you for rainbows after the storm, memory-connecting songs, and that first big bite of flourless chocolate cake.

Thank you for unrushed conversations, snort-producing laughter, and burden-bearing love. Thank you for water-color painting, Jesus’ prayers for our joy, and the freedom to feel what we feel in the moment. Thank you for good naps, heartache-weathered friendships, and the Smith River. Thank you for photography, hiking, and the perfect kale salad.

Above all, Father, thank you that the gospel is absolutely true, incomparably beautiful, and inexhaustibly good. Our ongoing work under the sun has meaning because of the finished work of your beloved Son. Because of your outrageous love for us in Jesus, and your sovereignty over all things, we will rejoice and be glad today. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ holy and loving name.