Read: Ecclesiastes 11:1-10
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”
James 1:17 NASB
One of the greatest challenges faced by the House pages was that of opening (and sometimes closing) the heavy wooden doors which barred access to the House chambers. With glass panes and brass fittings, the antique doors were beautiful to behold. One tug on the polished handle, however, was enough to identify another important characteristic: they were also extremely heavy. Moving them was a feat of strength and moving them fast enough to let someone in or out of the chambers required that this strength be applied at great speed.
It was standard practice to assign one or two pages to open these doors for Representatives as they passed through and it wasn’t long before an informal competition had developed. Paying careful attention to the activities within the chambers, pages would do their best to anticipate when their services would be needed and fling wide the heavy doors before the Representatives ran face-first into them. This not only gave the ornate porthole a bit of Star Trek flare, but it also prevented excessive medical bills on the part of our elected officials. Sadly, the same doors which allowed access to the chambers also barred any noise from exiting it. Those who stood without could not hear the debate taking place inside and the result was that tending the doors was, for the most part, an exercise in tedium.
Part way through the session, we realized that there were a few Representatives within the chambers who faced a similar difficulty. Aside from playing solitaire on their laptops, there was little to keep them entertained during the less important debates and any form of distraction (even if it was only visible through the glass panes of the doors) was welcome. And so miming became a part of the pages’ regular activities.
We’d walk past the doors as though we were going down a flight of stairs or (when we could recruit others to join us) pass by as an Olympic rowing team. The longer we were there, the more creative and refined the scenarios became and it wasn’t long before all those who were formerly the captives of boredom were having a great time.
Sadly, it’s so easy to get caught up in what we perceive to be the “important” things of life that we miss similar opportunities to enjoy ourselves. Focused on duty or image, held captive by deadlines and responsibilities, we fail to take the time to simply stop and smell the roses.
Fortunately, God has provided each of us with plenty of opportunities to smell the roses, be a little silly, and enjoy a good laugh. Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves, “What good is the gift of life if we aren’t taking the time to enjoy it?”
Challenge: When was the last time you did something “just for the fun of it”? God created us with a sense of humor and a need for rest and relaxation. This week, set aside some time just to enjoy being alive. Engage in a hobby, play a sport, or even watch a television show. You may be surprised by the amount of good a little “fun” can do!