How to Make Lemonade

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”
What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

  • Ecclesiastes 1:3-11

“Term, holidays, term, holidays, till we leave school, and then work, work, work till we die.”

  • C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

You have heard the expression, I am sure, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

At times, you wonder what the point of all this lemonade might be?  The Scripture above showed that Solomon asked that question.

But do the hard times or more importantly, the “meaningless” times, have to be hard or even meaningless?

I have made tons of lemonade in my life.  Some of my bad bosses, cruel bosses, evil bosses…  They really knew that they were being evil.  They would ask in a way that expresses profound shock, “What puts that smile on your face?”  Just asking that question was admitting that they knew they were being cruel.

Hey, I was making lemonade.  And the Joy inside me poured out as a smile.

But I read the quote from C. S. Lewis, which I think I may have used before, and I thought, ‘What about retirement?’ School, work, retirement, and then death.

Then I had to laugh.  I am busier now than I ever was when I “worked.”  I worked anywhere from a 45 hour work week to a 100+ hour work week, but most of my work weeks were in the 45-50 hour range.  Now, I am at my computer much more than that and, unless I am fatigued, I itch to get back to the keyboard when I am away from it.  There is always something else to write about or something else to research.

I think that I have found my automatic lemonade maker, my writing.

What is yours?

As far as the “how to make lemonade” is concerned, I have used two methods.  I have realized that I am doing my work for the Glory of God, even if that work is writing a textbook on how to make higher quality steel product while using less fuel in doing so.  Whatever your job is, as the Apostle Peter says near the end of 1 Peter 2 as he addresses the ‘Slaves,’ we need to perform that job and lay the fruits of our labors at the feet of our Lord and Savior, in a spiritual sense – we might really be handing it over to the boss or customer in a physical sense.

But the other method requires a lot of time in prayer first, to find out what God’s Plan is for your life.  If you find that perfect mission where your talents match His plans, your Joy will multiply tenfold, one hundredfold, as you do that work. 

“Term, holidays, term, holidays, till we leave school, and then work, work, work till we die.”

  • C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Sounds like drudgery, doesn’t it?

But when we are doing the work God planned for us to do, we want to keep doing it.  It is not drudgery at all.  And then to complete the quote once we are done, “we get to die and be with Jesus … forever.”

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

4 Comments

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  1. One cup lemon juice, one cup sugar, and six to seven cups water, enough to fill a half gallon pitcher. J.

    Liked by 1 person

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