Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 ~ Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.
Luke 12:16-21 ~ And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’"
Matthew 6:19-21 ~ “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
The Christian life is lived on two planes; the eternal plane and the earthly plane. On the eternal plane, we are living with eternity in mind, storing up treasures in heaven, and becoming more like Christ. On the earthly plane, we are enjoying the mercies and blessings of each new day and each new season - blessing others and being blessed by others, loving our family and friends, enjoying life.
Living this life on two planes is sort of like walking a tightrope - we are in a constant struggle to maintain our equilibrium. It can only be done successfully when we remember to take it step-by-step. Psalm 37:23 tells us, "the steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way" and in Proverbs 16:9 it says, "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." It is good to set goals and make plans, but we must still seek the Lord for His wisdom and guidance, step-by-step, moment-by-moment.
This same principle holds true when transitioning from the single life into the married life. Marriage adds a new dimension to this dual heaven/earth existence, and makes life a little more complicated. A marriage is more than just a new living arrangement, it is a new entity. Something changes in the relationship between a man and a woman when they enter into this covenant relationship with God. Jesus explains this in Matthew 19:4-6: “At the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Marriage is also a blessing from God. As Solomon so wisely observed in Ecclesiastes 9:9, it is one of the rewards that God has provided for us in this toil-filled life, something that we are meant to enjoy.
As we endeavor to live out our lives step-by-step, maintaining our balance, it essential that we learn to live in the moment. I confess that I have allowed a lot of life to slip past me because my heart and my head were somewhere else - either in the past, or in the future, or sometimes even in the life of someone else, a fantasy life. But none of that compared to the full three-dimensional life that God wanted to bless me with at that moment. Thankfully, one of the marvelous things about the Christian life is that, no matter how far we have wandered from the path, we can place ourselves right back on it with a single prayer of repentance and surrender. God is faithful to cleanse us from our sins right at that moment and direct us toward the next step, and then the next, and there we are once again, walking with Him step-by-step.
Living "in the moment" means that we take the time to look around to see who we are with and what we have in front of us. It also means allowing ourselves the time to grieve our losses as they occur, not stuffing the hurt down inside, and smoothing over the pain. And it means affording ourselves the time to relish our blessings as they occur, not taking them for granted, or feeling guilty when we are blessed with what we do not deserve. Our steps are determined by God, whether He leads us through sorrow or blessing, and each person's path is different.
In my opinion, Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 sums this all up beautifully:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.