2010-08-96 - Lost Your Glove?
Originally Published 1999-04-28
Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 (NIV) A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Lately nothing has been more fun to me than practicing baseball with my seven-year-old son, Bobby, after work. We practice catching, throwing and batting. It energizes me just thinking about going home and playing. A few nights ago I dreamed that Bobby and I were going out in the yard to play, but we could not find our baseball gloves. We frantically searched the yard and house, high and low, for them. The dream ended with us frustrated and disappointed.
Have you lost your glove? What is your "happy factor?" Honestly ask yourself this question: On a scale of 1-10, where do you rank your happiness in life? I don't know what has happened to our society, but somewhere along the way we became a group of unhappy people. I used to think, "if I have just a faster computer, better programs and better technology, then I can get my work done faster and have more time for fun stuff." You know what happened? I get more work done faster, but people just want more of it and they want it back faster. It's a never-ending cycle.
Perhaps your happy factor is low due to trying to get that new car, that new house, that new something that Madison Avenue has led us to believe will make us all happy. Or even worse, maybe we are just trying to make more money so we can buy things that we don't need, to impress people that don't even care. Are you so wrapped up in your work that you have forgotten who you really are? Have you forgotten the real you, the fun you, the happy you?
Solomon, when he wrote today's verse, got it right. He figured it out. Anything done apart from God, anything done apart from bringing glory to God, anything done not to please God but only to please us, is meaningless. It's chasing after the wind. You come up empty-handed and empty hearted. Just like when we run the rat race, win or lose you are still a rat. Worst of all, you lose your effectiveness as a mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister, etc. You lose your effectiveness as a Christ-follower. You lose the ability to show others that life in Christ brings joy. Lost your glove?
Father, help some of us to regain the happiness we find in You. Help some us to find that happiness for the first time. Help us to fix our eyes on You. Help us to regain our identity as Your children, and to not lose that identity to our work or circumstances. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen.