Solomon said “there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? Later in 3:9-13 he reiterates this same idea. “What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are the gifts from God.”
Why do you think Solomon used the phrase, “enjoy the fruits of their labor?”
I’ve been pondering what he meant, I’m not sure yet. Would love your input.
Here’s some thoughts I’ve been bantering around, I confess my thoughts aren’t complete. I don’t think I’ve hit the bottom of understanding but I’m wondering how much of our joy from our fruit comes when we share with another. Follow me here. Have you ever wondered if what you’re doing is having any impact or really matters? Yes, we all have. And if we go a long time without hearing or seeing fruit we can become discouraged or disillusioned. But say someone suddenly points out the fruit and the impact? Change right?
As I started down this line of thinking I remembered reading something like this in Luke 10:17-18. Jesus had sent the 72 disciples out to work and upon returning they shared the fruits of their labor.
“When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”
“Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”
Do you see it? The first thing they did upon returning is share the stories of what God had done. Is it possible that our ability to enjoy the fruit of our labor is tied to sharing it with others? I’m not saying it’s the only way we can enjoy it but perhaps it’s best when shared with others.
When I worked in a church the staff shared God stories frequently. It’s commonplace in church work but not so much outside the walls. Somehow we outside the walls speak less of what God is doing. Not because he’s sleeping but because we aren’t taught to speak so easily of his works. It made me think again of the beginning of this whole thinking on Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 2 and 3. Remember the beginning started with joy from eating, drinking and finding satisfaction with our labor? In a way we have come full circle. We need more storytelling at our tables. I need more storytellers at my table.
How about you? Who’s at your table talking about what God has and is doing? How are you doing with being a storyteller?
And SO WHAT? Does it even matter?