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Summary: The difference between living and existing can often be traced to one’s philosophy of life. The God-given philosophy of life involves many aspects, but today I’d like to summarize part of that philosphy through three "Remember" statements.

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Enthusiastic Living

(Ecclesiastes 9:7-18)

Intro

1. Kids pretend things to take away boredom…..

(1) We’d walk to the store pretending we are trying to lose Martians who were following us

(2) Kids who need medical treatments often try to make games of things…

2. As we age, we tend to lose that sense of imagination….this is tragic…

3. A sense of boredom and monotony can easily set in:

One survey reports that 54% of all Americans go to work primarily to escape the boredom of life at home. And 70% of American teenagers say they are bored with school. The survey also reported that 25% of teenagers said they got drunk on the weekend because they were so bored. (Sermoncentral)

4. Additionally, over stimulation makes life seem mundane and boring…. “According to the Center for Media Education, most children watch three to four hours of TV a day, approximately 28 hours per week. “Watching TV is the #1 after-school activity for 6 to 17 year olds. Each year most children spend about 1,500 hours in front of the TV and 900 hours in the classroom. By age 70, most people will have spent about ten years watching TV.” By age 21 the average viewer will have seen one million TV commercials. Teenagers see 100,000 alcohol commercials before reaching legal drinking age. “Children who watch four or more hours of TV per day spend less time on school work, have poorer reading skills, play less well with friends, and have fewer hobbies than children who watch less TV.” We are so over-stimulated by TV, radio, music, movies, the Internet, and by video games, that we are hyped up, tense, wound up tight, and as a result, easily bored and quickly distracted.” (Sermoncentral)

5. Rediscovering imagination and an enthusiasm for life plays a big factor in our personal sense of happiness.

MAIN IDEA: The difference between living and existing can often be traced to one’s philosophy of life.

The God-given philosophy of life involves many aspects, but today I’d like to summarize part of that philosphy through three "Remember" statements.

I. Remember That You Control Some Things (7-10)

If you take a victimized attitude toward life and approach life passively, you will lose out.

A. Enjoy the Simple Pleasures and Cultivate Fun, Joy, and Humor (7)

1. Too many of us begin the young adults years thinking that once we get everything in place, we’ll live happily ever after…..career, spouse, family….

2. But Solomon advocates an intentionality to find pleasure in the simple things of life.

like eating and drinking…

3. Happy people find joy in the routine and mundane; they enjoy the special times & events, but they are enjoying the daily grind….

B. Make Everyday a Party (8)

1. Emeril has written a cookbook by this title, but Solomon had the idea first

2. The idea of being clothed in white is that we should be in festive dress…

3. Erma Bombeck has done a good job elaborating on this theme:

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER

(Written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)- by Erma Bombeck

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ’good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you’s." More "I’m sorry’s."

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it , live it and never give it back.

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