November 5, 2021, 12:00 AM

Music Blog

11-05-2021

Enjoy Life

Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 Expanded Bible

Enjoy Life While You Can

7 So go eat your food and enjoy it; drink your wine and be happy because that is what God wants you to do

8 Put on nice clothes and make yourself look good

9 Enjoy life with the wife you love. Enjoy all the useless days of this useless life God has given you here on earth, because it is all you. So, enjoy the ·work you do here on earth.

10 Whatever work you do, do your best, because you are going to the grave, where there is no working, no planning, no knowledge, and no wisdom such activities and pleasures are distractions from the meaninglessness of life.

If you look at old family photos, I mean the really old ones, there is one aspect of these photographs that is in stark contrast to our modern-day pictures; no one is smiling. Although everyone is dressed in their Sunday best, smiles are almost always absent from the picture.

A brief google search gives various and sundry explanations: bad teeth or oral hygiene, the length of time it took for a good photographic sitting, the demand of holding very still because you didn’t want a blurry picture. All of these are very probable, but my favorite was the following.

Experts say that the deeper reason for the lack of smiles early on is that photography took guidance from pre-existing customs in painting—an art form in which many found grins uncouth and inappropriate for portraiture. Though saints might be depicted with faint smiles, wider smiles were “associated with madness, lewdness, loudness, drunkenness, all sorts of states of being that were not particularly decorous,” says Trumble

This explanation points out that maybe we don’t always know what someone else is thinking! The zeitgeist said that a grin was lewd and common-sense folks of yester-year wanted posterity to remember that they were decent, godly and respectable people. Quite a contrast to today, isn’t it?

What does this have to do with our scripture? Is God telling us to live it up? Is the pursuit of happiness all a coverup for the meaninglessness of life? Some might lead you that way, but I think Scripture is telling us that no matter what your life is like, it really is your life. Grateful, joyful and generous people have more friends and are the kind of people that everyone wants to be around. Our ancestors may have struck a note of truth in that they were concerned with how the future would consider them. Many of them struck out from the familiar and carved out a life in a harsh wilderness. They carried the gospel, furthered expansion of our country, built empires, raised families suffered defeat and hardship and left a posterity that cannot be denied. Their stern look tells a tale that our glib smiling selfies can’t touch. Enjoy your life, but live your life and do your best. For we are His workmanship created for good works. Let’s smile often and leave our good works for our children to discover.

Blessings,

Marty

Experts say that the deeper reason for the lack of smiles early on is that photography took guidance from pre-existing customs in painting—an art form in which many found grins uncouth and inappropriate for portraiture. Though saints might be depicted with faint smiles, wider smiles were “associated with madness, lewdness, loudness, drunkenness, all sorts of states of being that were not particularly decorous,” says Trumble.




Comments

11-07-2021 at 10:56 AM
Erna McDomald
Great read!! My oldest son wondered why his great grandparents didn’t smile in their photos. He thought they were scary pictures🤭🤭
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