Decorative candles are evil things.  They are a contradiction.  They are meant to be pretty to look at, but also, they are apparently meant to be destroyed by fire.  Who ever came up with this idea?  We have one candle that gets brought out ever October that looks like a candy corn.  We never burn it - why would we? - it's a part of our seasonal decorations!  Of course, that just begs the question: why make it a candle in the first place?  Just make a little candy corn statue and be done with it.  Don't tempt us to burn it. I remember one time several years ago, though, when my wife told me something that she recalled one of her family members saying: "If you never burn these pretty candles, then you never enjoy them in the way that they were meant to be enjoyed.  What good is a candle that you never burn?"

Similarly, the Bible says that a man that has no family and yet works his whole life for wealth is doing a stupid thing; it is a vanity (Ecclesiastes 4:7-8).  It is unhappy toil to work all the time for wealth that you do not enjoy.  What is the purpose of money other than for providing for your needs and pleasures?

Now, I've never been the kind of person to save money for saving money's sake.  Apart from providing for my family and having a little 'cushion' built up to take care of unforeseen emergencies, my money burns a hole in my pocket.  But I've seen enough movies to know that there must be a decent number of people out there who are miserly with their wealth.  This is an unhappy way to live.  It's like collecting decorative candles and never wanting to burn any of them.  In a word: pointless.

I love the way the Bible describes the life of the joyful person in Ecclesiastes 5:18-20:

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.

That just resonates perfectly with me.  There's almost nothing I'd rather spend my hard-earned money on than a good meal (that's why I hate it so much when all we have for lunch is some dinky sandwich).  Love your work and love your food and you will be occupied with joy all of your days.  That sounds awesome!

But some folks don't enjoy their toil.  I think it's because they don't really toil.  The days I've enjoyed my work the best - no matter which one of my jobs I think of - were the days when I really worked hard so that the time flew by.  I produced something I could be proud of.  I could look back on the day and be delighted in a job well done.  But the days I felt miserable in my work were the ones when I was bored with not enough to do or the ones when I lazily tried to sneak "me time" screwing around on the internet between tasks.  At the end of the day, there was much wasted time to be ashamed of.

So if you want happy work, work hard!  When you mess around and try to sneak some of your leisure time activities into your work time, you only end up spoiling both your work time (because you couldn't delight in what you did) and your leisure time (because now you're bored with those activities because you've been doing them when you shouldn't have).  Put in a hard day's work and take a nice lunch break with friends, and then come home looking forward to a sumptious dinner.  And for joy's sake, don't let anyone put you on some kind of diet! ;)