I watch our youthful pastor filled with vim and vision! He has an abundance of energy and a zeal for the Lord to consume it! I once had such energy – energy sufficient to last the longer projects… certainty of health to make the more critical commitments. But these days ability and reliability are not so certain.
I’ve identified with Solomon’s portrayal of fading bodily functions as the years pass by…
The time comes when whatever things one may have chased or leaned upon “under the sun” are no longer enjoyable: “the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them.’” The sun may even seem to shine less bright! “sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark” and bouts of depression may come at you: “clouds return after the rain.”
Quavering limbs: “the keepers of the house tremble”
Sagging spine: “the strong men stoop”
Lost teeth: “grinders cease because they are few”
Fading sight: “those looking through the windows grow dim”
Diminished work and speech: “the doors to the street are closed”
Loss of teeth… appetite: “the sound of grinding fades”
Loss of hearing: “people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint”
Fear of falls or attack: “afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets”
Lessened sex drive: “desire no longer is stirred”
Lifelong friends pass away: “people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.”
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,” exhorts Solomon —before this life completely ends: “…silver cord is severed…golden bowl is broken… pitcher is shattered… wheel is broken… the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” (Eccl. 12:1-7) Set your compass right early on, as Elder Don urged us.
You see you might take great delight in some lovely thing at present, some simple pastime may currently feel sufficient. But what of the day when your very senses fail you? Injury, disease, clouded mental ability, financial loss… ?
Wisdom, Strength, Riches – all will come to their end. (Jer. 9:23-24). Be sure that what you lean upon or into through life will last the distance. Only the Lord God will do. Only He and your living soul remain eternal.