And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 8:15 ESV
I’ve rediscovered as a trainee teacher the bad attitude of many students to their “toilsome” studies. I’ve already tried to instil a Solomonic attitude in them- to make the best of the situation they’re in. Ecclesiastes might have a reputation as a pessimistic book, but realistic is a more realistic description of it.
Instead of moaning about life, it’s best to make the best of whatever life throws at us. Even if and when life is toilsome and hard, it’s best to have a positive attitude. Half of how life goes might be circumstantial, but half could be described as attitude: what we make of the circumstances we find ourselves in.
When Solomon talks about life “under the sun”, he’s referring to life without reference to God. So whether someone’s an atheist or not, he’s still giving universal principles. Whatever our religious affiliation or otherwise, it makes life better for us to have a positive outlook.
Some people think that life is simply a matter of eating, drinking and working. Those are all important, but ultimately they are all gifts of God. These aren’t to be idolised but to inspire thankfulness to Him.
“God Almighty, thank You for the gifts of food, drink and work. Please help us to be joyful for all Your goodness. In Jesus’ name, amen”