Learning to Enjoy Life

In my recent studies of Ecclesiastes I have been overwhelmed by the joy and the reasons to have joy that are exuded from a proper understanding of Solomon’s masterful work on man’s purpose. In my own life I can often sense myself not being thankful or content for what God has given me. I often life for tomorrow and reminisce on the past. But God has given us today, and (in a strange way) he implores that we enjoy it. It is our duty, but it is for our own good. I wrote this poem to bring across some of the thoughts that have come to my mind because of Ecclesiastes.

Why are former and latter days

Better than this day?

Truly childhood was better, it seems.

Hindsight brings out the good,

And forgets the monotonous–

The endless hours of boredom;

The unrelenting pain we caused

And the due discipline we received.

For “those days” are always

Better than “these days”.

All men alike live for tomorrow,

For a hope is kindled

Like fire in our bones.

Will some historic event

Change this misery into majesty?

How can a peasant

Become a king?

How can the weak

Become a warrior?

And so we dream of tomorrow.

And yet the rich have

Been given all things abundantly–

Except for the power to

Enjoy life.

Even they long for more,

They dream of better,

And so are restless.

In between the lines

There is a day overcome,

There is one forgotten,

Lost in the chaos.

This day lies between

The beauty of yesterday

And the swift lightning bolts

That are stored for tomorrow.

Today is today,

And it is the most elusive of all,

Yet it is a mirror in our face

Everyday and all-day long.

Why do we life for tomorrow

If one can only live today?

Why not live today in light

Of tomorrow?

Let me unearth a diamond,

A pearl of mysterious wisdom:

Enjoy today

In order to enjoy

The today tomorrow.

Truly life is breaking,

Difficult yet shadow like,

Mysterious yet bleeding.

The lives of mankind

Are open wounds,

Festering and putrid.

We long for healing,

And so we desperately look

And plead for tomorrow.

But when tomorrow comes

It will be today,

And the darkness

May be even greater then.

So what shall we do?

Shall we stay restless?

Is this all hopeless?

Shall we long for death?

No! There is a better way.

We have a Father,

Not as he on earth,

But he is the Creator of all.

He created all things “good”,

And it is his heart’s desire

That we take pleasure

In what he has given us.

For every hunger

A piece of bread is given.

For every cheer

A laugh is given.

For every sorrow,

A tear is given.

One by one

The Father knowingly gives.

Second by second,

Heartbeat by beat,

Breath by breath.

He gives us today

And promises to keep tomorrow,

Why do we fear?

Only God has control,

Only the good Shepherd knows.

So I tell you,

Enjoy the blessings:

One by one.

Enjoy your work,

Work with all your might at it,

For there will be

More work to enjoy tomorrow.

Enjoy your food,

Fill yourself,

God will provide tomorrow.

Enjoy those who love you,

Your friends and your family,

Love them unquenchably,

For there will be love tomorrow.

God has blessed you with today,

Will you not enjoy it with me?

Enjoy today

In order to enjoy

The today tomorrow.

Christopher R. Mattix

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2 thoughts on “Learning to Enjoy Life

  1. “This is the day” not yesterday, not tomorrow. I have been trying to enjoy each moment for what it has been and it is; not for what I think it could have been.

    I love the picture of the Dandelions seed heads!

  2. You are absolutely right. It is one thing to say it, another thing to live it. I have been trying to encourage myself and others around me to enjoy life on a daily basis and to enjoy work and even difficult things like homework. It has been paying off, I believe.

    God bless you Andres, keep up the good work in Bolivia! I look forward to spending time with you again soon. I may even be down long-term by next Christmas–but we shall see what God has in store. As for now–I will enjoy today in order to enjoy the today tomorrow! :)

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