It was a beautiful day outside. Although it was mid-January, the sun was shining bright and the weather perfect enough to head to the beach. Valerie and I take out our bikes – and our trusty sidekick, Carmel, the dog – as we begin biking towards the shore.
As soon as I take off, I hear the Lord impress upon me these words: “Enjoy the ride.” I knew this phrase did not only indicate my time on the bike, but it also had a deeper layer. In fact, I realized this word was not just for me but should be shared with everyone willing to hear it.
To “enjoy the ride” is to relax and take life easy. There’s a lot that goes on each day, and it’s not to let the stressors of that day get to you. It’s a call to live each day with a grateful heart. The meaning behind it is to ‘go with the flow’ as life comes at you so that you can appreciate what’s in front of you.
To live life with that motto is easier said than done! And I say that as a typical spontaneous, adventurous, and adaptable person. Instead, my struggle lies with my task-oriented, big picture orientation. I can quickly develop a grand plan, get excited about it, and charge towards it. My focus towards the future in what could be can neglect the reality of what is. It is easy to forsake the mundane of the present for the excitement of the future.
There’s also the stark reality of a future that has not come to pass as one had thought it should have. I have found that many have become disillusioned by politics, the media, and those in authority. The disappointment of an unfulfilled future can make the present feel joyless and unhappy.
Sounds difficult, doesn’t it? Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it is not important or worth aspiring to. One of my writing purposes is to help others live “the Spirit-led life” and “enjoying the ride” is part of fulfilling that.
Through all of this, I was led to a book in the Bible called Ecclesiastes. King Solomon wrote it supposedly at the end of his life, which makes sense since much of the writing reflects his divided heart to the Lord. Although Solomon was a man with profound wisdom unlike any before him, he has a pessimistic view of the world. Pleasures, riches, and advancement are meaningless. Solomon sees the injustice, the disparities of the poor, and the toil of humanity and quickly gives into a hopeless state. He sure sounds like an ornery old man in his advanced age!
Despite the negative tone, a few verses stuck out to me in what Somolon highlighted as valuable, which speaks to us today:
- “A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” – Ecclesiastes 2:24-25
- “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
- “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 8:15
The things that typically matter in a person’s mind – success, a breadth of knowledge, and extraordinary achievements, to name a few – are ‘meaningless’ if a person cannot enjoy their current place in life. In other words, enjoy the present and don’t be so caught up in the future.
This one hit me like a ton of bricks! In my pursuit of God, there’s a call of seriousness towards holiness, obedience, and reverence. I know this is true. While this is good as I seek more of God, this does not mean that I do not enjoy life as a result – no way! Christ has come to give me, and you, “life and life more abundantly” (John 10:10) – this means enjoying the present. It means appreciating the small things in life and being grateful. It is taking delight in significant relationships, hobbies, and finding satisfaction in work. As Solomon mentioned, it is to “eat, drink, and to be glad” in the here and now. It’s not only about the future plans, but “enjoying the ride” God has all of us on.
I encourage each one of you to find enjoyment in the present, even in the small things. The plans for the future (whether striving towards or unfulfilled yet) can still be there but don’t neglect the present for the future. Instead, give God your concerns and goals of what is to come and enjoy the best parts of where you are now. We are all on a journey, and the Lord is guiding us. Even if we don’t know the destination, we can still “enjoy the ride” as Christ seekers wanting to live a spirit-filled life.
Have a blessed week!