The calendar has come ‘round again and tomorrow I mark #67. I would feel ‘old,’ except that I have a friend who will be joining a celebration for her grandmother this weekend. That woman is marking her centennial (100!) this year. Compared to her, I’m still a kid. I joked with my children that I miss waking up without something hurting.
When I reflect on my life I am, above all else, full of gratitude for God’s grace to me. He has made my days rich in so many ways. There a thousand joyful memories that play in my thoughts. Oh yes, there are some regrets that make me cringe, too. The one constant is the love of my Father, the hope and peace that I have found in Him through every season.
Solomon wrote us from the days near the end of his life. His counsel is that we “Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7, NIV)
How easily we forget God or at least marginalize Him when life is full of kids, work, friends, and activities. Yes, we can outrun the awareness of our mortality, of the brevity of life, for decades. And then, we lose a parent to death, we become aware of our aging body, we see the lines of age etching themselves onto our faces – and for some that becomes a crisis.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes poetically about the approach of age. I wonder if he laughed as he wrote them? They make me smile. “The days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”— before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-5, NIV)
Eyesight fades! Legs grow weak! Teeth fall out! Though hearing is less acute, even a bird’s song will awaken the aged! Caution grows as awareness of danger increases! Hair turns white! Passion dies!
Some of you aren’t smiling. That sounds grim and awful. Some of you are thinking, “I can relate.” Whatever your season in life, there is one thing true for each one of us – Time stops for no one. Must that mean dread, fear, and misery? Without hope it could. But, for those who know God, eternity becomes more real with each passing year, the anticipation of heaven’s home truly is ‘sweeter every day.’
Build your relationship with God now. That’s Solomon’s counsel. The wise know that He is life’s meaning, that He gives purpose and peace.
This short reflection closes with this word from the Word. “Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living. … my child, be warned: There is no end of opinions ready to be expressed. Studying them can go on forever and become very exhausting! Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1, 12-14, NLT)
(Video of this blog at this link)
(Let this worship song speak to you today)
Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You We live for You
Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me
I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken
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