Remember your Creator in the days of your youth . . . (12:1, niv)
Youth is a wonderful thing. What a pity it’s wasted on the young.” This famous quote by George Bernard Shaw was no doubt made when he was old! The Teacher voices a similar opinion, but out of concern, not jealousy. Youth is a thoughtless, carefree season, but “the days of darkness will be many and the days of trouble will come” (11:8; 12:1).
He does not begrudge youthful happiness (11:9), but the brevity of life makes “youth and vigor meaningless” (11:10). Chapter 12, verses 1-8 are depressing. In twenty different ways the Teacher says we are going to die. In fact, he runs out of metaphors. Lights go dark, doors close, cords are severed, and pitchers break. It’s a bleak litany of doom. We’re tempted to say, “Enough already, I get the point!”
But do we? Do we live as if we are going to die, remembering our Creator and his promises? Do we put our trust in him alone? “However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember . . .” (11:8). Better to remember late than never, better still to remember right from the start. Those who live for God from early on will enjoy life to the fullest.
Father, remind us that the time when we can remember you draws swiftly to a close. Amen.