As I read this passage, I realized that the lifestyle it describes is familiar. When I was in college, I spent a lot of my weekends at parties and bars, eating rich food and dancing to loud music. I would begin making plans for the weekend days in advance. I was with my friends, but during a lot of our time together I was drunk. When I woke up in the morning, I often felt an emptiness and shame from the time I felt I had wasted—not to mention that I needed most of the day to recover. Even so, for a season I stayed locked into that pattern of plan, party, recover, repeat.
As I’ve reflected on this season of my life, I’ve come to realize that I was drawn into this pattern because it was an escape from the stress and pressure I felt. It kept me from dealing with painful feelings. It shielded me from thinking about suffering I had seen while traveling to other parts of the world, and also from facing tragedy in my own life.
When we follow God and seek to focus on the work of [the LORD’s] hands (v. 12), there is an incredible richness to life. The people in this passage miss out, and there are times when I do, too.
Life with God is rewarding, but it isn’t always easy or fun to pay attention to what God is doing. Often, God is at work in places where people are hurting, systems are broken, and loneliness and suffering abound. But it is here that we find the beauty of deep relationships, both with God and with others. We find incredible examples of support and generosity and love. We can experience deep joy in some of the most surprising places.
This is the abundant life that I don’t want to miss.
Where do you notice the work of the Lord’s hands in your life? Are there areas where you are missing out on God’s abundant life?
God, will you keep drawing our attention to the places in our lives where we are missing you? Will you guard us from chasing the things that distract us from your love? Amen.