I feel I can speak with the voice of experience in support of the wisdom of today’s passage. I first heard, understood and believed the Gospel message from my Father, when I was a small boy, shortly after he came to faith in Jesus. However, for several reasons, I didn’t commit my own life to the Lord until only a couple of years ago when I was thirty-five years old. When I made my commitment, one of the first feelings I had was one of waste. It hit me, like a ton of bricks, that I had wasted half of my life scrabbling about in the dark, just making it up as I went along. I had forgotten my creator, and so ever since the time of my new commitment, I have been feverishly trying to catch up on the knowledge I had missed out on all my life.
Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 NLT
Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honour him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly. Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint. Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caper berry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral. Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
Since I came to faith, I have been married and become a father, I have lost my job and regained it and now I am negotiating the bumpy road of divorce – again! I feel old. I feel tired and sore. I no longer feel the immortality of youth. I feel a lot closer to the grave, my everlasting home, than I ever have before. And yet, I can read passages like today’s and rejoice that it is not too late. I have indeed remembered my creator while I am still young enough, before the silver cord of life has snapped. There is still water in the jar and the pulley at the well has not yet broken. I count myself lucky that I have found faith while I am still young enough to remember the excitement of youth, but old enough to be able to see the approach of old age. I give thanks that the door to life’s opportunities is still open and I have years of work ahead that I can give in the service of my creator.
2 Corinthians 8:1-15