The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values.
Throughout my years of elementary, middle and then high school, I learned a lot of facts. My brain was overloaded with all sorts of mathematical equations, periodic table information, dates and times of all sorts of historical events and so much more. But, most of those have long since evaporated from my mind, the things that have lingered are things that touched me more deeply. Things like my friendships, or my love of learning, or the experiences I had laughing and crying. What was of value to me is what has remained with me so many years later. That is not to say that it wasn’t important to go through all those educational aspects, I needed to learn those facts and figures. And some of them do apply to my life today. Yet, the stuff that I hold dear are not the things that I necessarily learned from a textbook, but instead are the things I learned from the people around me and the opportunities afforded me.
There is no more important lesson that I have learned, through experience and living life, than to love God. I did not learn that from a textbook and I didn’t learn it from sitting in a classroom, I learned it from my family, my friends, my experiences, my circumstances and my heart. The Bible says, “So be warned, my child, of anything else that might be said! There is no end to writing books, and excessive study only exhausts the body. And, when all is said and done, here is the last word: worship in reverence the one True God, and keep His commands, for this is what God expects of every person.” Ecclesiastes 12:12-13 (VOICE) This is where we learn our values, by worshiping God and following His commands.
And so I heartily recommended that you pursue joy, for the best a person can do under the sun is to enjoy life. Eat, drink, and be happy. If this is your attitude, joy will carry you through the toil every day that God gives you under the sun.
This sentiment is so important but God made sure to repeat it multiple times. You can find this again at Ecclesiastes 2:24, 3:13, and more. I’ve been taught that when God repeats something in scripture or in our lives, pay attention! I wrote recently about excepting whatever the circumstances are because my joy comes from God not my circumstances. That doesn’t mean the circumstances aren’t stressful, it doesn’t mean there isn’t pain in the situation, it just means that my joy does not come from my job or my house or my vehicle or the people around me. My joy comes from God.
The scripture above says to pursue joy. In order to pursue joy I have to pursue God because God is my joy. How awesome is that! God is not hard to find, it is we lowly humans that make it hard to find Him. In reality He is always right there with us watching us and loving us. He aches for our attention, He is devoted to our safety, security and peace, and He just wants us to look to Him—at Him. Pursue Joy - pursue God. God has given us this life to live fully. We live fully in joy and love which come from God, even the love we feel in our marriages, from our children, our friends and our family, that is gifted to us by God. So to live life fully, to experience the joy and peace and love that was intended for us, we do it by pursuing God. It truly is simple in the concept. Not necessarily easy to live out, but simple enough to understand. Putting it into practice takes work. And because each of our journeys is unique with God, how we put this into practice will be unique to each of us. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn from one another. I learn from others all the time, I am grateful to God for each person in my life.
How can you pursue God? How can you pursue the joy God has for you? How can you live life fully? God is good, He gave us one step in the scripture above: eat, drink, and be happy. Live life fully, embrace everything around you, see God in your circumstances, in the people in your lives, in your dreams and desires, because He is there, He’s always pursuing you, so pursue Him too.