I want to begin by asking you a question: Are you enjoying your life? I mean really, truly enjoying each day God gives you?
For years, I didn’t enjoy my life. Because of the abuse I suffered as a child, I never really learned how to relax and have fun. Then God began to show me that it’s His will for us to enjoy our lives—right now, regardless of whatever else is happening.
In John 10:10, Jesus says, The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (AMPC).
Isn’t that amazing? Jesus came that you and I may enjoy our lives—it’s really that simple!
I am a very task-oriented person, and I actually really like going to work and getting things done. However, the Lord showed me a long time ago the importance of slowing down and making time to do some of the other things I enjoy doing.
I want you to think about this…
In the craziness of the world...throughout the busyness of each day...in spite of the difficulties you face...regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in...no matter how much responsibility you have...God wants you to enjoy your life and have some fun.
For instance, take some time to watch a funny movie, go outside and take in the sunshine, or stop by the frozen yogurt shop on the way home from work. Have some fun and enjoy the life Jesus came to give you!
You might think, Joyce, that doesn’t sound very responsible. I have things to do. I have obligations. I can’t just go through each day doing what sounds like fun.
I’m not saying that you stop meeting your obligations and responsibilities, but I am saying that you add flavor to your life by working in some things that you enjoy.
Let me give you a few places to begin...
1. Identify what you enjoy doing.
Do you know that most people would hesitate if you asked them, “What do you do for fun?” Many people are so busy and so burdened that they stopped having fun a long time ago...and they don’t know how to start again.
For instance, if you enjoy playing music, when was the last time you played? If you love a good cup of coffee, why not sit down and enjoy that next cup rather than gulping it down on your way to work?
Take a few minutes to identify what you enjoy...and then let yourself enjoy it.
2. Don’t wait on “when.”
So many people have the mind-set that they will be really happy and enjoy life when. When they go on vacation, when the kids are older, when they get a promotion at work, when they get married.
I can relate to this because there was a time when even though I really loved being in the ministry, I wasn’t enjoying the daily responsibilities and activities it involved.
We tend to put things in categories. We can look at the calendar and think, This is a “no-fun” day. However, God isn’t like that! He has joyful moments planned for us each and every day. When we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to direct our steps, life is always an adventure!
3. Schedule time to do what you enjoy.
Use your calendar as your ally, instead of letting it become your enemy.
Perhaps you really can’t stop what you’re doing right now to go have some fun. But let’s be honest—for most of us, if we don’t actually schedule some time to do something fun or relaxing, it will never happen.
Finish what you are committed to right now, but start planning some fun time into your future. Even knowing a break is coming soon will help you now.
4. Relish the little things.
Most of us have no problem enjoying the big things, like banner days and exciting announcements, but we often miss out on the little things.
Frequently, it’s the little things in life that can bring us the most joy—a baby’s laugh, a beautiful sunrise, a delicious dinner, a funny movie, or a good conversation.
5. Include God in everything!
Ultimately, it’s so important to remember that true joy begins by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In John 15:11, He says, These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
In the ten verses leading up to this one, Jesus is talking about “abiding” in Him, because that’s the key to living with joy. This may sound super-spiritual, but abiding simply means “to live, dwell and remain in.”
God wants to abide with you every day, all throughout the day. He doesn’t just want you to seek Him when you go to church or when you’re desperate. His desire is to have a personal relationship with you, so you can experience His presence in everything you do. That’s when your everyday life is really enjoyable!
I can tell you from experience that Jesus makes everything better. When we spend time with Him in the Word, through prayer and by including Him in our day, He fills our hearts with joy...and makes even the “mundane” parts of life an adventure.