(KJV) Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 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; 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 the windows shall 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 the 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 be broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
The last chapter of Ecclesiastes gives us a beautiful picture of aging, but the meaning is clear: Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.
As youth fades, so do the blessings of youth – blessings which we probably took for granted. The keepers of the house – arms – shall tremble. The strong men – legs – shall bow. The grinders – teeth – cease because they are few. Those that look out the windows – eyes – shall be darkened. Doors are shut and grinding is low – the teeth are few, so the mouth is closed and there is no chewing. Rising early with the bird – sleep without rest. Music brought low – loss of hearing. The almond tree shall flourish – almond blossoms are white, like whitening hair. The grasshopper shall be a burden – strength ceases. Man goeth to his long home – eternity. Mourners go about the street – mourning his death. The silver cord binding body and soul shall be broken in death. Then the body will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
I heard Scott Pauley preach on Ecclesiastes 12 when I was a teenager. Over a decade later, I am still convicted by that message. He gave an illustration similar to this. Imagine a string stretches from wall to wall in the room you are sitting. On that string is a tiny bead, maybe the size of the period at the end of this sentence. That string is eternity, and that bead is your life. In the vast greatness of eternity, our lives are so small. “What is your life?” James asked. “It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). We only have a short time in which to “remember” our Creator. To remember. To acknowledge. To worship. What we do in the Now affects not only the course of our lives, but also our Then, when our bodies return to dust and our spirits return to God. Live now for then. I don’t know what that will look like for you today. Perhaps it will mean you’ll read an extra chapter of your Bible or say an extra prayer for someone who is hurting. Perhaps it is time for you to accept Jesus as your Savior; He loves you and is patiently waiting for you to invite Him into your life. Perhaps you need to share the Gospel with a friend or family member. I challenge you, don’t put it off. Live now for then.