While We’re Young

So what are we to make of this book of Ecclesiastes?  Throughout the book, the Teacher says over and over that everything is “meaningless.”  Is life meaningless?  Are all of our pursuits meaningless?  Are our relationships meaningless?  Is our working meaningless?  Is it truly best to just pursue pleasure because nothing really matters?  As we search for meaning and purpose, are we capable of finding them?  Or do we just flit about our days and look to the sky occasionally and throw up a few, “Thank Yous” to the Almighty and hope that everything works out?
Solomon concludes this book of wisdom with these words:

Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth​ – Ecclesiastes 12:1a (NIV)

The Hebrew word for “remember” means to honor, revere and obey the Author of life.  He says to do this while we are young.  Why?  I think that as the years progress it becomes harder to honor God.  Without a foundation of faith in our youth, we find it harder to come to faith when we are older.  It’s not impossible, mind you, but it is more difficult.  We grow more cynical and bitter as we age.  Life gets harder the older we get.  It gets harder physically as our bodies break down.  It gets harder emotionally as loved ones pass away.  It gets harder spiritually as the big questions of life seem to go unanswered.  Young people are dreamers and believers.  Little kids are believers and they question less than adults.  We educate the faith right out of our children.  We educate their innocence away.  What little faith and innocence remains is quickly eradicated by experience.  Do not lose the idealism, innocence and faith of your youth.  Honor God because, in the end, God is all you’ve got.

Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 (NIV)

Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”—
before the sun and the light
    and the moon and the stars grow dark,
    and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
    and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
    and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
    and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
    but all their songs grow faint;
when people are afraid of heights
    and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
    and the grasshopper drags itself along
    and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
    and mourners go about the streets.

Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
    and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
    and the wheel broken at the well,
and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
    and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.
    “Everything is meaningless!”

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