No time spent serving Him will be wasted. Don’t waste your energy. While there is time, redeem it. Make the most of it. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.
Breaking news: We are all going to die. But prior to death, we lose our strength and energy. Old age comes with waning strength. Memory starts to slip; instability and immobility become a norm of life.
Young, healthy people don’t think about the later years as difficult days (Eccl 12:1). They focus on the here and now. But we have all seen the debilitating effects of old age and disease, and so we have to reckon with the reality that as life rolls on, it tends to get harder.
As we consider the imminent reality of death, Solomon charges us in Ecclesiastes 12 to remember our Creator in the days of our youth (v. 1). That is, we should remember who He is, what He has done, and who we are in relation to Him. We should maximize our effort while we still have life. While we have strength, we should serve God now.
Serve God Before Life Gets Harder, vv. 1-2
Most of us as children were unable to comprehend the pain of tragic events. Our innocence and naiveté tended to make tragedies a distant reality. But as we move toward middle age, we start to understand what these tragedies mean. We build deep relationships with people only to experience betrayal. We develop an abiding love for another person only to lose that person to death. And while those losses hurt, we still have much to do. We fill up our time with activity and work, and anticipate living for another forty years. Consequently, the noise of tragedy, while still painful, is somewhat muted by our busyness.
But eventually we get old, and our body breaks down, and our friends and family die. We start to go to more and more funerals of people younger than us—a rare occurrence when we were younger. In our youth, we went to funerals of older people and we understood that all older will eventually die. Now we are older ourselves. Our stamina has faded away. We have little ability to constructively contribute. Fewer and fewer people depend on us. And we know that it is only a matter of time until our own lives come to an end.