Day 29: Remember God when you are young (12:1)
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (12:1).
“While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity” (12:2-8).
We continue where we left off yesterday, with the Preacher speaking to the youth his direct message of: “Remember now thy Creator”. Being a wise man, and like many who are old, he saw what took place in the intervening years in his own life, having tried everything, concluding as he had begun: Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. His rationale is one those of us who are old can identify with, looking back when we were young, with all our faculties, full of youthful energy and optimism, without the worries that came later to us: “Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes, Before your vision dims and the world blurs And the winter years keep you close to the fire. In old age, your body no longer serves you so well. Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen. The shades are pulled down on the world. You can’t come and go at will. Things grind to a halt. The hum of the household fades away. You are wakened now by bird-song. Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past. Even a stroll down the road has its terrors. Your hair turns apple-blossom white, Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body. Yes, you’re well on your way to eternal rest, While your friends make plans for your funeral”. (12:2-5 MSG.) Such beautiful yet haunting insights as he reflects on how life ends – willing for the young not to squander it (unlike he had) and to remember God: “Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends. The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.” (12:6-7 MSG)
Prayer: Lord, we can think of young people who don’t remember their creator – we pray for them and may we who are older be examples, living lives for you.