Ecclesiastes 9 : lighten up and enjoy
When I notice myself reviewing the details of life’s problems and injustices, I need to ask the most important question in mental health! “Really, is it my job right now to do something about that? If so, do it, obey. If not I need to REFOCUS.
But HOW and ON WHAT?
FIRST: see the big picture. Every person, deed, organization and object will vanish so completely that they will be forgotten, vanished to all except GOD.
Passions like love , hatred, envy will seem pretty pointless unless I love God and what he loves, unless I hate evil, unless I am zealous to maintain godly relationships. All other passions will fade. Verse 6 . So why the vexation of spirit?
SECOND: REFOCUS. From what I don’t have– to “what DO I have?” Verse 7, 8 This is my “portion” from God.
Refocus from who isn’t in my life or from how imperfect the people in my life are– to who IS in my life. Verse 9
From what I can’t do– to what CAN I do Verse 9, 10
THIRD:Remember that to displace a negative I need to yield my body members equal and opposite to my natural inclination and with equal creativity and passion.
So it isn’t enough to focus on what I do have but to enjoy it, to eat with joy, drink with a merry heart, delight in the fine clothes he has provided and put on the sweet smelling oils he has made available.
It isn’t enough to focus on who I do have: but to live with them joyfully all the days of my life.
It isn’t enough to focus on what I can do: but to do it with ALL my might.
What I have, who I have and what I can do: are all gifts from God and enjoying them is an act of appreciation and worship. Paul says that he learned how to be content with having much as well as having little.
FOURTH:We focus on PEOPLE> PROJECTS>THINGS.
Remember, I need to love people and use things (not use people and love things), to savor things and use them to help people, never turn people into projects. If they want to grow–help them but don’t try to fix them. If they are messed up and don’t want to change, enjoy what you can and live your own life to the full accepting God’s sovereignty in allowing the problem and accepting my own worth despite my inability to control others. Also to set limits when needed but don’t try to fix them.
Pour all my energy into the projects at hand remembering that I am God’s marvelous handiwork created to be just right for the tasks I find. When I am uptight, there is always a sweet piece of life flowing my that God wants me to grab and interact with.
This intense FOCUS will effectively pull my mind from the destructive negative round and rounds and not deplete my brain of its’ energy.