Happy Reformation Day! When I was in seminary, I knew a guy who would wear a monastic robe to class (far outside of the dress code) and he would carry a small boombox playing Gregorian Chants as he walked the campus. It was great, adding a little levity to the high-pressure environment of school.
Happy Halloween! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It signals that fall is here in full effect, the leaves are changing, the year-end holiday season is beginning, I can watch spooky movies all month, and there is candy everywhere.
No matter how you celebrate, maybe you combine the two and go down the street and nail a Thesis to your neighbor’s door (joke explanation), today is one of the days during the year that we designate as special. During the year we set days aside: days to celebrate, days to remember, days to spend with family, and days to be thankful. We save these days in our hearts and minds because we want them to be special.
However, everyday has the potential to be special; it’s all about how you use it. The most famous passage about this in the Bible is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (a time for everything...) but the writer of Ecclesiastes continues that wisdom in verses 9-13
9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
Most of our days fall into regular rhythms: wake up, go to work/school, come home, eat dinner, sleep again. And if we’re not careful that rhythm can turn into a rut where we go through the motions but never make an impact on the world and people around us.
The writer of Ecclesiastes wants you to remember “there is nothing better for [YOU] than to be joyful and to do good as long as [YOU] live!” So, what can you do? You can just let today be today. Wake up this morning with a smile on your face. The pressures and toils of life are going to happen. Whether you are smiling or grumpy they are going to happen.
If you are stuck in a rut do what you can to climb out. Ask for help. Often, we get so focused on the hole we are in we don’t look up at the hands that want to pull us out. Let us all work together to encourage the people who are around us when we toil. Let us be the people that are trying to make the world better. Today is special because you are here, and you are doing your best!