Joyful Encounters

God's grace is evident in so many various aspects of our lives. One area where I see this is in the opportunity that we are given to enjoy life, even amidst the busyness and frustrations that we face every day.

Life gets messy. We often find ourselves in situations where we are constantly being aggravated - by work, school, friends, family, even sometimes by the church.
Image Source: Joshua Earle

Whatever the situation, if we spend our days frustratingly having to do things that we don't take pleasure in, we can easily feel down-heartened and it can easily feel like we are living without purpose.

"There is nothing better for a person than he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This is God's gift to man."
- Ecclesiastes 2:24 (ESV)

One of God's many gifts to us is our ability to find happiness and enjoyment even during the busy, demanding periods of our lives.

I have met a number of people who live out this value in their lives on a daily basis. Even during their most boring and tiresome days, they are able to intentionally seek out joyful moments.

During stressful times, it is essential that we hold on to the things that give us life and energy. Some might call them hobbies, others might call them leisurely activities. I would like to call them joyful encounters.

Enjoyment isn't universal. Everybody enjoys different things. For you it might be music, or sport. It might be having a cup of coffee with a group of friends, or spending quality time with a loved one.

Many of the most successful people in the world realize the value of intentionally seeking out joyful encounters in their own lives. For example, Merryl Streep takes regular time off of work to knit, cook and read. Richard Branson is an avid Kite-surfer in his spare time. Even 2 of arguably the most famous authors of the 20th Century, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien, used to meet up regularly at a local pub in Oxford, England amidst their busy schedules to enjoy a few beers together and chat about their difficulties and desires.

We should make sure that we are making time for joyful encounters in the midst of our hectic lives, as much as we possibly can. When we neglect these moments, our lives often feel very lonely or boring.

Life often feels too busy. There never feels like we have enough time to do the things that make us happy - the things that are life-giving and not life-draining. We need to intentionally make time for joyful encounters. It is one of God's gifts to us. We have the choice to make use of it or not.

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