"I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his seed begging bread." (Psalms 37:25 ASV)
My thoughts tend to center on the phrase 'I have been young, and now am old'. Life has made that impression on me at sundry stages in my journey which had nothing to do with literal age. My husband and I married when we were eighteen. Marriage tends to mature a person, or as they say, we grew up together. There was ten years between our oldest child and the sixth child. Child number seven was born ten years later, approximately two weeks after our oldest grandchild joined the family.
The first forty years of our life seemed to fly by. About the age forty-two, however, I felt as if I slammed into a brick wall. Life didn't slow down, but before that time I hit life at full throttle. Now my body began to hit slow motion mode in little things.
"The wise man's eyes are in his head, and the fool walketh in darkness: and yet I perceived that one event happeneth to them all. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then said I in my heart, that this also is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 2:14-15 ASV)
The term, 'he went the way of all the earth', is used to gently remind people that 'as it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen to me...'. Too many people live their lives as if they are guaranteed life forever on this earth. They live as if life on this tiny spec in the universe is forever, and never make preparation for the vast ocean of eternity.
"For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance for ever; seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. And how doth the wise man die even as the fool!"(Ecclesiastes 2:16 ASV)
The book of Ecclesiastes deals with Solomon trying to make sense of life 'under the sun'; trying to make sense of life by taking God out of the equation. Earthly wisdom would cause a thinking person to ask the age old question, 'what's it all about?' What is the purpose of life? and as Solomon found, apart from a life with God there is no sense. We all die and are forgotten—even the famous of our times.
"Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor wherein I had labored under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 2:20 ASV)
"There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God." (Ecclesiastes 2:24 ASV)
I sit on my deck and watch my children and grandchildren. I am reminded that even though the last twenty-one years have forced me to slow down, as Ecclesiastes tells us there is nothing better than to gather with family and friends. To watch life begin, the middle of life, and in the words of the Psalmist: "I have been young, and now am old", as a Christian, there is nothing better.
But as a Christian, I have prepared for the next stage as well. Life on this spec isn't the end. I am incredulous that so many of my fellow journeymen are so clueless. I will leave you with this encouragement—prepare for your eternity:
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. ...and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire. And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire."
(Revelation 20:11-15 ASV)