"Joy is never in our power and pleasure often is"
Are you ever surprised by how little you really know?
It doesn't have to be a shock about something major, like some big new front-page discovery, it can be something quite small and often just about yourself - something that a particular moment brings into focus that you hadn't noticed before.
At the end of a life often overflowing with pleasures, Solomon came to realize just how much he still had to understand, and how futile life can become when we fail to accommodate that higher wisdom.
As we form in the womb, he notes, the Spirit is weaving amidst our bones (11:5). As we work and prosper, enjoying the light and warmth of the sun, we need to be aware that a deeper wealth beyond such immediate cheer can only continue if something, someone, is sought that alone brings a truth which endures when the days are darker and the prospects appear bleak.
In his concluding thoughts in his epistle to the Romans, Paul speaks of his hope that his readers may be filled with the 'joy and peace in believing' the good news concerning Jesus Christ (15:13). When we read of such gifts in scripture, we are speaking of mercies which transcend our everyday moments of quality or pleasure, though these can indeed prompt us to be aware of something richer and engender a desire within us to know such depths.
Peace in this life comes only through our gaze becoming directed and then fixed upon the astonishing person and work of Jesus, because it is only there that we may find a true resolution to our deepest troubles and surety that goodness and mercy have replaced our poverty and exile.
Joy, as Lewis noted, is a gift which will surprise us - moments which enfold us with a sense of splendor and goodness far above and beyond the norm, opening wide the windows into another country - home.
Whatever we do, wisdom encourages us to pursue and delight in such wealth, so whatever our short days here bring, we can truly become wise and wealthy for all that is yet to come.
"May your hearts be encouraged and knit together in this love, to gain the richness and full assurance of knowing and understanding God's profound mystery, the person of Christ, in whom is stored all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:2 & 3).