Take Pleasure in Toil

For those of you who have faithfully subscribed to this blog, you have read of my struggles for work/life balance.  Some of you have related to me your own struggles with this topic. 

As I have been pondering this struggle a Bible verse came to mind,  "I (the writer of Ecclesiastes) perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil- this is God's gift to man." Ecclesiastes 3: 12 & 13.

In my Bible's commentary it notes that this verse suggests that "rather than becoming embittered by what God has not granted human beings (namely, the ability to comprehend all of reality), one should enjoy the gifts that God has given." 

Touché.  I realize that I am becoming embittered with my situation and towards others and myself because I can not comprehend all of my own reality.  For me, comprehension includes control.  If I am honest with myself, I want to be the one in control of my reality which means I need to know all and to be able to control others' decisions regarding my situation. Yet I know that certain things are beyond my control. Not only can I not comprehend all that is around me, I cannot comprehend why I cannot figure things out.   I can strive to be balanced, but I may fail miserably. 

This verse reminds me that I should just focus on the basics- enjoy the things that God has given me, strive to do good deeds and to work at my calling.  For the immediate present, I might not be able to do all that I hoped to do- devote a single mindedness to full-time work- but I can do what I can. 

I am slowly realizing that this smaller "action list" is a gift.  There is no need to make myself anxious or upset with self-loathing over unaccomplished goals.   All I need to be concerned about is being obedient to God's call on my life and enjoying the things that come my way and surround me,  whatever that might look like. 

What about you?  Are you still struggling with balance?  Do have difficulty enjoying the simple things? Why something so basic and seemingly easy is so difficult to do?  Why is contentment so elusive? 

What would it be like if we all asked, what can be done?  Not to get discouraged or to think of the bigger reality, but what small thing can we do that takes pleasure in our toil? 

I would encourage you (as I encourage myself) to enjoy this day and enjoy the toil, whatever comes our way.