Enjoy This Life

The United Church of Christ has been using a popular meme for the last few years called “Be the Church.” I see banners displaying its content everywhere I go in visits around the denomination.

The meme contains a series of short quips about what it means to be the church: care for the poor, forgive often, and embrace diversity are among them. The very last one on the list reads simply: enjoy this life. Yeah, enjoy this life.

One of my favorite scriptures is found in the gospel of Luke, the 12th chapter, 32nd verse: “Do not live in fear, little flock: it has pleased your creator to give you the kindom.” 

Do not live in fear.

Enjoy this life.

Those are words to live by.

What brings you joy? Think about that for a moment. What is it, that when you do it, you light up? Your smile grows large? Your body experiences electricity? And you can’t help but give God thanks?

I have a life partner whose beauty still catches my breath and after 33 years of marriage brings me joy daily. For her I give God thanks.

I have three children, all active in the arts. One is a musician and composer; one an artist and author; and one a poet. When I experience the product of their creative impulses, I feel a deep and profound joy and give God thanks.

I have one grandchild, and every chance I get to spend time with him brings me utter delight.

I take long bike rides. When on my bike, the phone doesn’t ring, I don’t have to answer emails, the wind whips my face, and the scenery rolls by slowly in all its natural splendor.

I listen to music constantly, when working or driving or flying or walking. I have a pool table in my basement with a collection of my favorite old vinyl albums and a turntable down there, and I waste many a long hour down their shooting pool and listening to everything from Mozart to Zeppelin.

Sometimes in worship the choir or the prayer or the sermon or the Hymn or the liturgy is so sublime, so deep, so moving that I cannot help but be transformed by the moment.

Sunrises, sunsets, flowers, trees, mountains, rivers, streams, waterfalls, rainbows, gentle rains, an eagle in flight, ocean waves pounding the shore – all these and more have taken my breath away and instilled within me a sense of awe and wonder: and, yes, pure joy.

Count your blessings today.

Pause to give God thanks for the majesty and beauty of this life you have been given.

Do not live in fear.

Enjoy this life.

It is God’s good pleasure to give you all this and more besides.

Let your journey through this wonderland leave you inspired by God’s handiwork. May it lift your spirit and bring you joy on this, your journey Into the Mystic.