As I sit here in my home office, my children are bothering me. I can barely get a sentence to complete itself without being brought a random object (a book, a blanket, a Pez dispenser, a spoon, etc.) and being told what the object is (“It’s a spoon!” “It’s a blanket!” etc.).
It’s pretty difficult to get any work done.
However, every once in a while I look over at my three-year-old son and my sixteen-month-old daughter playing on the floor in my office, and I smile.
I smile because I know that this moment is unlike any other that will ever be, and someday I will look back on days like today and wish I could go back.
Yes, I would like to be more productive, and no, I don’t think every single moment of parenthood is dripping with sentiment. Not all moments are precious (temper tantrums, for example). However, the moments that are worth remembering rarely present themselves as such; instead, they quietly sneak up on us, allowing us to live within them if we choose to do so.
For the past two months, I have not had a job to go to in the mornings. While that reality comes with its own challenges and fears, it also comes with a few gifts. One of those gifts is that my children play in my office while I’m trying to work.
There may come a day when I leave the house every morning to travel to an office away from my family, and these moments will be gone. So I choose to push through the minor irritation of slow productivity and celebrate the wonder of these two children who want nothing more than to play in my office.
There are moments when I battle doubt—doubt in my calling, doubt in my education, doubt in my understanding of the world. However, there are things that, even when I doubt, I still know to be true.
One of those truths that I cannot shake is that life must be celebrated and enjoyed. The moments that we have on this earth are valuable and finite.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, this writer has been going on and on about how brief life is, and much of what he says sounds like despair. However, every once in a while, the writer will remind his readers to enjoy life. For example, in chapter 9, he writes-
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. (Ecclesiastes 9:7)
This kind of statement pops up over and over again throughout the book.
The writer of Ecclesiastes is saying to us: Don’t forget how precious your days are, and with that understanding, enjoy your life.
Every once in a while, take a silent moment, breath deeply, and remind yourself that you are alive.
Enjoy a delicious meal, appreciating what a gift it is that food can taste so good.
Look at your children and give yourself permission to feel overwhelmed with wonder.
Spend time with people who fill your soul, and be grateful that they are in your life.
Look at your spouse and be grateful that someone wants to spend the rest of his or her life with you.
Life is a gift.
May we all be grateful to have received it.
When are you most able to celebrate and enjoy your life? What advice would you give to someone who struggles to enjoy life?