By Latricia C. Bailey
“Tis the season to be jolly . . .”, “Happy Holidays!”, “Happy New Year!”
These are all great sayings that are appropriate during this time of the year. Most people would agree that Christmas and the end of the year festivities are considered “the most wonderful time of the year” according to holiday songs and commercials. Well, what happens when it’s not? The holidays can be a difficult time to deal with for many people. A lot of folks have lost loved ones and find it hard to grieve and celebrate the holidays. Many have endured financial hardships or debt that prevents them from spending. And still for others it isn’t about grief or money, but it is about depression or anxiety from personal circumstances and situations. We spend a lot of time during the holidays, searching for things to satisfy our needs or find ways to make others feel responsible for making us happy. The consensus for most people is that we are never fully satisfied, so we keep chasing after more ways and things that will satisfy us. The Bible says,
“‘Everything is meaningless, . . . completely meaningless!’ What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?” Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 (NLT)
We spend so much time trying to find happiness in things, people, and places that we often forget how
“Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, ‘Here is something new!’ But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.” Ecclesiastes 1:8-11 (NLT)
In the book of Ecclesiastes, the Teacher, son of King David, starts off talking about how things have no meaning, and that everything going on under the sun is like “chasing the wind.” (v. 1:14). He said this because he had everything he could possibly want and was still dissatisfied. He had pleasure, huge homes, beautiful vineyards, gardens and parks, reservoirs, slaves, large herds and flocks, great sums of silver and gold, concubines — everything a man could desire! He was greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before him. Anything he wanted he would take, but he looked at everything as meaningless. Then, in chapter 3:1, he talks about the timing of everything and the burden God has placed on us all.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So, I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 (NLT)
In this season of transition from one decade to a new one, whether you choose to be jolly, happy, or otherwise, make the decision to
“Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy.” Ecclesiastes 11:8-10a (NLT)
Do as the Teacher said, as he concluded from all his searching for happiness:
“Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NLT)
Have a Happy New Year!