Against the backdrop of trying to figure out why the wicked prosper and the good die young, Solomon concludes it is best to work hard and play hard:
Ecc 8:15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.
This by no means is calling for anyone to just go and indulge in whatever vices are out there, but instead…we work hard at whatever station God has put us at in life, be it a home-maker, an office job, teacher or whatever…and while we toil away at our jobs, we should also enjoy life when we can.
This is a rather topical subject right now, because of social media and how it relates to depression. Social media seems like a necessity in life right now, not having social media is akin to not having a phone in the 80s. But, in our spare time, we should also ask ourselves, is the way we use social media making us happy? It seems like a lot of depression is borne out of too much time in front of a screen of some sort, allowing what others say dictate our own level of happiness.
Solomon’s teaching today says eat, drink and be merry. The Hebrew word in the original text for Merry is Samach, which translates to gladness or happiness.
Is how we are investing our spare time making us happy?
Not to get too far off track, but depression seems like a very unsettling thing these days, suicide is now the 4th highest killer among adolescents, so as Solomon reminds us, in our spare time, do what makes us happy, and if spending hours in front of a screen brings out anxieties, it is probably a good idea to stay away from those vices or at least put some controls on how we use social media and make sure it doesn’t drive us into sadness.