As we hit the new year and launch into 2018, like many, I had the opportunity to have some time off.

While I won’t bore you with the many hours of holiday stories, I would like to reflect on the last day before I returned to work.

It was my daughter’s birthday, and we finished off the day by going to the movies to watch The Greatest Showman. What a movie. So thoroughly entertaining, absorbing, mesmerising. Highly recommended.

Though, I took something away from that movie I found quite challenging.

As P. T. Barnum achieves success, he constantly hungers for more. Never quite receiving what he deeply desires, the approval of the upper class that always eluded him. He was born in the working class … and so eagerly desired what he cannot have.

His journey takes him full circle, discovering that his true happiness, his real hunger is only satisfied in what he already has available – the love of family and friends.

How often do we chase after worldly success only to find it empty? Or lose sight of what is truly important while chasing after a mirage? Whether that mirage is possessions or wealth, status or position … only to find that when we arrive we’ve lost all we hold most dear.

So as we walk through 2018 the encouragement is to learn from Ecclesiastes, a book written by Solomon 0 the man who had it all, overflowing in wealth, power, position and status and yet wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:12-13:

“I know that there is nothing better for people that to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink , and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God”.

May we too find peace and contentment in what is in our hands, with the friends and family that surrounds us and let go of the belief that happiness can be so much greater if only we were able to attain the illusory mirage.

May we embrace the wisdom of Ecclesiastes and seek happiness in the gifts God has already given us.