My eclectic choice of virtual and hard-copy reading material ranges from pressing social issues to obscure machinery. Usually the streams are so different they don’t connect, but each adds to my understanding of the world. At times I am challenged and have to rethink things. At times I am affirmed, firming up my foundation of self-knowledge. Whether challenged or affirmed I am sure of one thing: I have fun with my eclectic reading material.
Every once in a while the stars align and a single theme emerges from the variety of articles and sources that feed my curiosity. Recently, “success” has been a common thread, whether it’s inventions that had no impact in the world or relationships are valued. This got me to thinking about how I measure success in life, and the thought that rang true is how much fun are you having?
OK, this might seem facetious or frivolous. Fun is usually defined as going to the fair, parties or silly times with friends, but there’s more to it than that. By fun I mean deriving pleasure and excitement from whatever you do. Does your connection with your spouse or a friend bring you joy and fulfilment? When you think about your work or that tasks that fill your day, do they bring a smile to your face? Does worship nurture your soul and, even when it is challenging, bring you a sense of satisfaction?
Having fun, to me, means more than the thrill of your favourite carnival ride; it means celebrating every aspect of life and being able to deal with its challenges and struggles in a positive, healthy way. Success, as I see it, is having fun in and with life.
Does measuring life in terms of fun mean that I don’t take life seriously? Absolutely not; life is a beautiful, precious gift and every part of it matters. But if life is joyless and flat, what point is there? God did not create us to suffer and wallow in misery; we were created to live life to the fullest and to celebrate our Creator in every way possible. This is indeed serious work, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to savour every moment and to do whatever we do joyfully and thankfully.
I realize that measuring life in terms of fun might not tickle everyone’s fancy. It might seem too frivolous a measure for something as important as God’s gift of life. That’s OK, however. We’re all unique in our gifts and approach to our existence. We all see things differently and value different things so success means different things to each and every one of us, and I respect that. In fact, learning about our differences helps me to grow and mature as a child of God, just like my eclectic taste in reading material. If you remember, I have fun with my choice in virtual or hard copy literature…
…just as I had fun pondering and preparing this little group of thoughts, and that’s good enough for me.
Published previously, April 25, as part of my weekly “Thoughts” for my congregation, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Coldwater.