Happy New Year friends! I thought you might be encouraged by this as you begin a new year. I’m kind of a worrier by nature. But worry robs life of its many joys. We gotta fight against worry and fight for joy. If you know me, you know I love ice cream, especially Rocky Road. What you might not know is that Rocky Road ice cream has a special significance to me because it represents something I learned years ago (~2003) about worrying and enjoying life from a book by Pastor Tommy Nelson, a study of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.
Here’s an excerpt from Tommy’s book:
“Solomon (in Ecclesiastes ch 3) wants to tell us that even when we don’t understand everything God is doing, we cannot let what we cannot know destroy what we can enjoy. You can’t be God and control circumstances. There’s nothing you can do about that. So don’t let it negate your present enjoyment of life. Every week I counsel Christians who are upset because they are not God. I see the torment they experience because they can’t deal with their helplessness and confusion. But the truth is that they’ve never been able to understand everything that was occurring, good or bad. So what should we do? Solomon tells us not to get cynical and unhappy; instead, we should do good in our lifetime. In this short life you have to trust God and do good. And in verse 13, Solomon says life does not have to be meaningless.
Moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God. (Eccl 3:13)
John Piper wrote a great book called Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. That title may make you nervous, but I love it. I love it because there is a blessedness in seeking pleasure the way God intended. We are to enjoy pleasure. Everyone is going to die. As you read this book, the clock is ticking. The twenty-four-hour virus is waiting on you. There are germs on your teeth that will cause cavities. One day you’ll have to have a root canal. All of those things are bad and they are coming. So today, while everything’s OK, go get a double dip of Rocky Road ice cream (or whatever flavor you favor) in a waffle cone. Take some friends with you, lick your ice cream slowly, and just enjoy being together. Call an old friend you haven’t spoken to in six months and get caught up. Rent a movie you’ve wanted to see and curl up on the sofa with some hot popcorn. Jesus put it like this: “Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself” (Matt. 6: 34). Enjoy today—trust God and have fun. We all know that you’ll eventually have that virus, and that root canal is so certain that it may as well already be scheduled, and one night you’ll receive a phone call telling you your father has passed on. So today you need to go get your two dips of Rocky Road.”
(A Life Well Lived: A Study of the Book of Ecclesiastes, ch 3 By: Tommy Nelson)
I hope and pray that 2018 is a year that we worry less, trust God more, and when we get the chance, enjoy the heck out of some good times, good friends and Rocky Road ice cream.