Melancholy and My Need for a Plan
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25
A patient recently thanked me, telling me that he read my blog. Though I couldn’t recall, I had apparently once shared my story with him. The encounter caused me to remember that I used to challenge myself to find at least one person a day, in some struggle, with whom to share what God has done for me.
Maybe it got too busy last winter or maybe I just got complacent, but sometime, I stopped doing that. Looking back, I realized that daily challenge had inspired me to do my job better. Not doing it now, has led to some melancholy and apathy.
Most of us are prone to this. We get into routines that naturally revolve, not around loving God and neighbor, but rather, around earning a paycheck – to serve ourselves. In living for ourselves, we surrender the divine purpose that King Solomon spoke of in today’s passage.
In the passage, Solomon insists that we can enjoy food, drink and labor only in the right way. Previously, Solomon stated that the pursuit of pleasure was like chasing the wind, but here, he says that in God, we can find true satisfaction in our work.
When I view my job as a place where I can show others the love God has shown me, I do my job for him, to the best of my abilities – and I enjoy it. When I simply punch the clock, I embrace the melancholy of drudgery.
So, I need a plan. If I’ve learned anything from my addiction, it is that change does not happen just because I’d like it to. Today, I must go to work with the renewed challenge to share what God has done for me, with at least one person. I must see every encounter as an opportunity to share God’s love. In doing so, I do my job for him and I find true purpose and meaning in my labor.