Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink,
and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun
during the few days of life God has given him – for this is his lot.
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions,
and enables him to enjoy them,
to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God.
He seldom reflects on the days of his life,
because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
The hedonist says to eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.
The puritanical decries cheer, toils in labor, and seeks redemption in dour works.
Solomon rejects both extremes.
It is good and proper to eat and drink.
It is good and proper to find satisfaction,
even in toilsome labor.
It is good and proper to enjoy possessions;
to be happy in work.
It is good and proper to be content.
It is a gift of God.
Whatever we do -- whether it be writing, reading, socializing, assisting a boss, diapering a baby, cleaning tubs on our knees -- all is good and proper, a gift of God, and we glorify Him in our gladness of heart.
Our Father, thank you for how You occupy our hearts with gladness, how You created a world for us to enjoy. May we see Your handiwork in all of our experiences this day, this hour, this minute.