Simple Pleasures

Eat, Drink, Enjoy.
Eat, Drink, Enjoy.

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God…. Ecclesiastes 2:24 (NIV)

Wendy and I are decluttering our house in preparation to sell. With it we are going through a decade of stuff. I’ve found it fascinating to go through my drawers and discover the old cell phone covers, web cams, computer software and other sundry technology do-dads that have accumulated over a decade of living here. Things that were cutting edge technology necessities just a few years ago are woefully obsolete and seem almost silly today.

I’m struck by the pace with which technology amps up the world around us. Always connected to our network, we have things pushed, tweeted, shared, linked, texted, e-mailed, and messaged to us non-stop. Personally, I love all the good things that technology affords us. Last night we had a 42 minute video chat with Taylor from her dorm room at the University of Edinburg. She’s in SCOTLAND and we got to see her sweet face, read her expressions, and take a tour of her dorm room. How cool is that?

At the same time, I wonder what effect this is all having on us as humans. In a world that is always pushing the envelope for greater highs, faster speeds, the latest, the greatest, the newest, the coolest, I increasingly believe that there is something to be said for finding contentment in simple pleasures. I think wise King Solomon’s ancient words may be more relevant today than ever.

Simple pleasures I enjoy:

  • A good food, good wine, and dinner conversation that goes on for hours.
  • Sitting on the deck at the lake with Wendy (and family/friends!) as the sun goes down (even better if sipping a cold pint and smoking a Davidoff cigar).
  • Scoring a baseball game as I listen to it on the radio.
  • Playing a guitar and terrorizing the neighbors with my singing on the back porch.
  • Reading a good spy novel in bed before I turn out the lights.
  • Hot coffee, pondering a chapter, and quiet heart conversation with God in the early morning.
  • Watching a sunrise, a sunset, or a big harvest moon rise.
  • Reading an actual newspaper in the morning with Wendy, and solving the world’s problems together (If the world leaders would only stop by and listen to our wisdom, what a better world we’d live in!) 🙂
  • Discussions with Wendy like the one we had in the car the other day in which we considered traitors as an archetype. If a seemingly good character betrays a good cause he or she is a traitor/villain and is guilty of treason. If an evil character betrays evil, is it always an act of redemption? What a great conversation.

What simple pleasures motivate you to unplug and enjoy?

7 thoughts on “Simple Pleasures”

  1. Great food, great drink and great conversation for sure. Quiet time. I miss it and it’s really hard to find at this stage of life. I haven’t convinced myself to get up at 4:30 to find it either. 🙂

  2. Some of the things I enjoy are the same as yours. I love sitting out in the early morning watching the world come alive while I write and take in my morning coffee. I love walking anywhere right around dusk and watch the earth go down for the night. I love good meals with family and great friends. I’m learning to live my simply and take in the moments that are happening right around me and not taking them for granted. Thanks for this post and the thoughts!

    1. “I’m learning to live my simply and take in the moments that are happening right around me and not taking them for granted.”

      I echo that, Rachel. I’m finding myself increasingly grateful for the smallest of things in some of the most fleeting moments.

  3. A couple books I read for school cover this very topic. One is an introspective non-fiction called Hamlet’s Blackberry that uses examples of technological communication throughout history and what era they created for mankind. It’s a bit repetitive, but a thought-provoking read nonetheless. The second was a fiction novella called Feed which, teen-style foul language notwithstanding, offered a keen insight into where technology is taking us as a culture. There seemed to be little glimpses of 1984 peeking out through some of the cheeky characters. And given the fact that it was written before the advent of Facebook and (possibly) MySpace, it’s incredibly eerie how accurate it was. Great one to read and discuss.

  4. 24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

    Much of this chapter is bemoaning the fact that life feels meaningless. Chasing wealth and work and the chaos of activity….at the end of the day often feels meaningless. Then we hit these verses which give us a prescription for the meaningful. Find work you enjoy, eat, drink and be merry. This is what we should desire. Not a fat 401(k), not a Mercedes in the drive…you get the picture. Ironically, a high percentage of Americans appear unhappy. Co-incidence? I think not.

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