Q’s headlong pursuit of pleasure- Run faster! Try harder! Take that path! Go after that shiny thing!- has ended as unsatisfactorily as his other pursuits. Hevel. Vapor. A striving after wind.
But wait, you have surely noticed as you have read chapters 1-6 that there are a few moments when Q will just turn his own musings on their head and offer a seemingly light-hearted alternative. A version of this refrain is scattered throughout the book- There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. (Eccl 2:24).
It sounds a lot like carpe diem- seize the day! But look closer; there is nothing here about chasing after pleasure or making a plan to build your kingdom around pleasure. Q seems to find himself at every dead end in these simple moments- a meal with friends or satisfaction in today’s job well done. These aren’t things that you can grab with two hands and expect them to define the meaning of your life. These moments are just as much vapor as the striving for wisdom, work, and pleasure are. And yet, he finds something in these brief moments. Again and again, for a moment, joy is before him.
Q knows this glimpse of joy is a gift from God. For the briefest of moments, “under the sun” is infused with the light of heaven. While he cannot hang onto them or contrive them or control them, he can enjoy the moment. For Q, this is as good as it gets…
Ask Yourself: Reflect on the day or the week- where did you see glimpses of joy in ordinary moments?
Pause to Pray: Lord, thank you for the grace you have given to the world. Thank you that all of us experience glimpses of heaven in ordinary moments…
Take the Next Step: Pay attention to moments of joy today!