18 This is the one good thing I’ve seen: it’s appropriate for people to eat, drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work under the sun during the brief lifetime that God gives them because that’s their lot in life. 19 Also, whenever God gives people wealth and riches and enables them to enjoy it, to accept their place in the world and to find pleasure in their hard work—all this is God’s gift. 20 Indeed, people shouldn’t brood too much over the days of their lives because God gives an answer in their hearts’ joy. Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, CEB
I have a friend who always tells me about his gratitude list. No matter what he has going on in his life, he sits down in the morning and makes a list of things he’s thankful for. That always seems so cheesy to me! He says it works. I keep telling myself I’m going to do it, but I haven’t yet. I don’t think I have the courage. I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. I like to complain about stuff. I like to focus on the negative. I feed off that negative energy. If making a gratitude list works then I won’t be able to live in my usual complainy place. On some leve, I don’t want that!
I suspect that committing to doing that, though, would help me adopt the philosophy found in these verses. It would help me see that, no matter how much goes wrong, there are things to appreciate. Perspective truly does go a long way. Sometimes I’m just not open to changing my perspective. That’s the God’s honest truth for many of us. The problem for me comes when my unwillingness to change my perspective puts me at odds with God. Then I’ve really got some explaining to do.
So…you know…I have some explaining to do.