What Good is a Gift You Cannot Enjoy?

“But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do – busywork, mostly….I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it – eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.” Ecclesiastes 3:9-10, 12-13 MSG

We had a situation. It was a rough morning and, as I drove my kids to school, my daughter just stared out the window in deep thought. I asked her multiple times what was wrong but, with tears in her eyes, she simply replied, “Nothing.” Teenagers. So, I did what any concerned and loving, relentless mom would do. I threatened to just drive around the school until she spilled it. This was a pretty good tactic, I thought, and it worked. Eventually, we pulled over and talked it all out. My middle son, on the other hand, did NOT like this one bit!

Now, I’m not crazy. I knew we had enough time to drive around until I got her talking. But my son didn’t care. He was in full panic mode. Why? He was going to be late for school! My attention now shifted as I tried to explain that he wouldn’t be late. But, then, I thought. Even if they were late, we were dealing with a real-life family issue in our car. One that, if not dealt with, can have greater repercussions than being late for class. And, if we do deal with it in the moment, the reward is worth being late! He stopped panicking, but I was still in thought. Why did he get that way?

Whether it’s school, work, social events; we are conditioned to live a “Go, go, go” type of life. Don’t be late, don’t miss work, don’t be absent, etc. Schools give awards for perfect attendance. And, not just for individuals, but the whole class, too. Can I be frank? I have always hated the perfect attendance category! All this pressure and for what? A pizza party? Now, let me balance this because I am not saying to be carelessly late to everything and lazy with your attendance. I’m not dismissing or undermining school and work policies at all! If that’s what you got, we’ve got a bigger problem.

What I am saying is that, if (on occasion) you are late or absent from the busyness of life – it is OKAY! No need to panic. If something in your house doesn’t get done today – it is OKAY! If you have to take a mental health day – it is OKAY! It’s really okay to unplug from the world’s standards, take a deep breath, and enjoy the gifts God gives us. Whether it’s at work or school, at home or at a social event. Everything doesn’t have to be done via a systematic standard. Take time to enjoy the gift of work and nonwork; the gift of time; the gift of making the most out of everything in our lives! Because what good is a gift you cannot enjoy?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for a new day and a new week! I am so grateful for each moment you give me at work, at events, at home, with family, with friends, with colleagues, and in every area of my life! Holy Spirit, help me to slow down and take time to enjoy every gift from God. Lord, give me an awareness when anxiety tries to come over me because of deadlines and busyness. Thank You for giving me a heart of gratitude and showing me how to balance every area of my life because You honor order. Have Your way in every area and let only Your will be done. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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