Years ago I had an interesting chat with an aged man who expressed his excitement when he saw how some of us young people yielded to God and were serving God with so much energy.
It was something he would love to do, it was something his heart would love to but his body could not carry.
Jesus, after his resurrection, talking to Peter, said in John 21:18 “Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
There are two phases to life that Jesus was bringing forth to Peter to shed light on a very important truth.
There is the daylight of life when Peter is in control of his life. Then, he can do what he wants and go where he wishes to. He can chose what he wants and have the freedom to be who he wants.
But there comes a time when he has no control of the most basic things like dressing up and taking a walk. It is the sunset of life. There is no prayer or power that can stop that from happening as long as a person lives to old age.
Therefore, a man has the daylight of his life to do all he can do.
The best decision
Solomon from experience said in
Ecclesiastes 12: 13 “Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.”
No matter how it is, and no matter the fun or pain of life, man has an obligation to make decisions. We make them daily. We make decisions in little as well as highly important matters.
As a child, you made the minor decisions that affected you. Decisions on what clothes to wear, what kind of friends to keep, how to pay attention in class and how to learn from parents. I’m afraid some of this minor decisions will turn out to have major impact as well.
That’s why it is difficult for children whose parents are either absent or negligent. Which means they will be absent in training and helping kids to make choices and decisions.
However, Solomon said, the greatest thing in life is to know that at the end man’s whole duty is to fear God and keep His commands. This means that many of the things we do in life concerning work, family and career are good, but keeping God’s commands is the greatest decision to make.
Earlier, in the same chapter he poetically describe the transition from the daylight to the sunset of life. He put it this way:
1 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”—
2 before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
3 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;
4 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;
5 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.”
There is a divide, between youth and old age. He admonished the youth to remember his creator in the days of his youth. To remember is not just to take note but to give him a place in his life.
In The Wisdom of the Hebrew Words posted on ourrabbijesus.com, Lois Tverberg said ” The Hebrew verbs for “remembering” and “hearing” have something in common – they seem to us to be only activities that occur in our minds, but in Hebrew they encompass physical actions too. This is actually common to many verbs that seem to be strictly cerebral activities.”
She added, ”In Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus , I explain that many verbs in Hebrew that we think of as only mental activities often encompass their expected physical result:
– To “remember” can mean “to act on someone’s behalf.” In Genesis 8:1 it says that “God remembered Noah and dried up the flood waters.” But God didn’t just wake up one morning and suddenly recall that an ark was out bobbing around somewhere. He “remembered” Noah by coming to his rescue.
She concluded that ” The logic of Hebrew (and other languages) realizes that an action should result from what is in our minds. If you “remember” someone, you will act on their behalf. If you “hear” someone, you will obey their words. If you “know” someone, you will have a close relationship with them. Hebrew realizes that the longest twelve inches that your faith has to move is from your head to your heart. And once your faith makes that move, it naturally comes out through your hands and feet.”
Finally, Solomon described sunset of life so very well.
*They are days you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.’
*The sun, moon and stars will grow dark, your eyes too dull to neither appreciate nor recognize the pleasures of life.
*The strength of bread winners, house keepers and the defense of the family is reduced to a few weak old aged ancestors.
*Then the house is no longer a dwelling of fellowship but a foster home for the aged and helpless.
*When a person is ready to return to his spiritual eternal home. There he will meet his maker.
God bless you as you remember your maker before its sunset. May wisdom come to your heart to seek your maker now.
David Pam McQuel