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The gift from God......

“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”  Ecclesiastes 3:10-13

These words are from the wisest man (Solomon) that ever lived. I think that they are true words to live by in these very uncertain times.  Now is a good time to think about how God “wired” us when He created us and what will truly make us “happy”.  From all that Solomon says, we should carefully rethink what fuels or souls.  And it’s pretty simple really, it has to do with being content (a) food and drink, and (b) finding satisfaction (i.e. purpose and fulfillment) in our work. The other stuff that we’ve been snookered into believing will really make us happy represent “junk food” for our souls. Perhaps this horrible pandemic we are now experience  will wake us up.

We’ve been led to believe that happiness will come, by and large, if we make it our goal to get more and more; by having more than anyone else; by working hard and saving for  vacations and retirement; we’ve been lead to believe that not having to  work one day is the reason for doing good work now; we’ve been led to believe that  we owe it to ourselves to  “reward” our lives with more TV, movies, news and entertainment.  We’ve brought to the conclusion that work is bad, play is good, and that whining and complaining are evidence of our a superior up-bringing—-i.e. we’re only comfortable with the very best.

God’s gift to us, unrequested and unwarranted, is life. What we do with our lives is our gift to God.  But now, more than ever in our lives, perhaps we can reconsider how marvelously He has made us and what we requires of us, what we need to add into our lives, and what we should be teaching our children.

Solomon would say that the basic thing we need to remember is to be content with what we have (drink and food) and be  grateful for the opportunity to work!  Many of us this very hour cannot work because of the virus, and others are faced with uncertainty about food, drink and shelter.  Perhaps we should remember the blessing of being able to work and being able to  provide for our own food and drink—those things that give satisfaction and  fuel to our bodies and our souls—and re-evaluate how much of the other things we really need—-or perhaps what we need to eliminate.

It seems to me that the “other things” I have acquired are the same things that take away my sleep and peace. It’s the simple life that I am craving because it is the simple life that defined the life of Jesus, the prophets and the heroes of the church. The were unencumbered by possessions, debts, creditors and gadgets. 

Think about it. Do the things you have increase your laughter and happiness or is it the opposite?

Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free

'Tis a gift to come down where I ought to be

And when I am in the place just right

I will be in the valley of love and delight

When true simplicity is gained

To bow and to bend I will not be ashamed

To turn, to turn will be my delight

'Til by turning, turning, I come 'round right.

Joseph Brackett 


Dean Barley

1945 Vineyard Road

Westfield, NC 27053

336 351 2070

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