“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” ~Romans 12:1 (Msg).
This is probably so obvious there may be no point talking about the fact we don’t enjoy things. But ‘the why’ of the matter is important, and either we’ve forgotten it or we’ve never thought about it.
Just why do many people loath good portions of their lives?
The solution—like the problem—may seem so obvious perhaps people have been duped into failing to enquire. Or, maybe people don’t believe that everything could be enjoyed. This is not positive psychology we’re talking about; instead, it’s the fundamental issue of life.
We can only enjoy absolutely everything if we: 1) redefine what enjoyment means; and, 2) understand that true enjoyment begins, and has its fulfilment, in worshipping God.
Some periods and days are despicable, yet they can still be enjoyed. Like when we endure loss or humbling change or hurt or hormone imbalance; knowing that God’s there—with us—changes things.
We enjoy the fact we’re not alone through such voids of darkness. Indeed, we’re encouraged more and more to converse with God, and the more we do that the more content God makes us in our inner beings.
Enjoyment, hence, is deeper in experience than plain happiness. It’s felt intrinsic to the presence of God. In other words, mathematically, it’s:
Presence of God + the emotion in any circumstance = enjoyment.
Again, enjoyment is not happiness. In fact, it’s better than happiness, as happiness can be felt without God, but true bliss—which is available in almost any circumstance—is not possible that way. Enjoyment is the ‘happy’ acceptance of life as it is.
What the Presence of God Does for Our Hope
As we continue practicing the presence of God, our enjoyment of life ripples outward from the present, healing our pasts and providing hope of the future.
We all need both—healing and hope.
But hope is more than a bright focus on the future—it’s also buoyed by an identity reconciled by inner calm—yes, the past can now be accepted, let go of.
Having God present there with us empowers our courage and boldly we go out and come in. Hope indwells our enjoyment; things get better and better and all because we feel God there with us and we’re doing things for our Lord.
The Exercise of Enjoyment
The best thing about enjoyment founded in God’s presence, are the moments—especially the tough ones—are endured resiliently, because the moment is fortified by memory of God’s faithfulness in our pasts and knowledge of that faithfulness for the future.
The exercise of enjoyment is, therefore, living all moments faithfully with strength on loan from God. Such a loan requires no deposit, there is no interest and no credit limit, and it requires absolutely no repayment. Actually, such a loan gives to us via more faith!
Enjoying absolutely everything is doing everything as if God were there, present with us—because he is.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.