In Ecclesiastes 11, Solomon, the preacher, advised young people to celebrate God’s gift of life. He suggested that everyone, especially the young, should seize every moment and make the best of each moment, for life is fleeting. The essence of what he had said in this chapter is that from the day of birth, we are ushered into a fallen world of endless concerns. Thus, it is pointless for us to be bogged down by worries needlessly. Life can be lived by simply committing to doing what is right before God while keeping Him at the focal point of our lives. Primarily, Solomon was building up to the call for all people to put God at the centre of their lives from the day of their youth.
In Ecclesiastes 12:1, Solomon said, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth”. Why did Solomon put forth a reminder to remember God when we are young? When we are young, our state of physical well-being makes us feel as if good health will last forever and never diminish and we, in our youth, tend to be less concerned about the problems of old age. So, we are unaccustomed to spending time thinking about what will happen when old age catches up with us. Furthermore, when we are young, we are usually more susceptible to being impulsive, hasty, and reckless. Many of us tend to act without much thinking. Hence, Ecclesiastes 12:1 sounds out a critical call to live a God-centred life. We must remember God in the days of our youth to help us stay in balance. But we know that we must never forget this call at every stage of life, young or old.
Without a doubt, young or old, we all need the presence of God in our lives. We need to walk in His prescribed ways. We can only enjoy God’s gift of life when we have factored Him at every stage and into every aspect of life. The best way to do life is to remember Him, to place our faith in Him and learn to cast our cares on Him. The best time to begin is when we are young and in the prime of life. It will also be the best time to offer Him our faithful service. Do not wait till we are old and have not much time left when we could only offer Him the fading ashes of our hearts. Do not delay and wait or our desires to serve Him will soon be gone. And most of all, do not wait till our energy is dissipated that we no longer have the strength to serve Him. We must give our all to God passionately now, while we have the energy to make a difference.
Horatius Bonar wrote a hymn in 1866. Consider what he said and be inspired to place Him at the centre of our lives as we live for Him.
Fill Thou my life, O Lord my God,
In every part with praise,
That my whole being may proclaim
Thy being and Thy ways.
Not for the lip of praise alone,
Nor even the praising heart,
I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part:
Praise in the common things of life,
Its going out and in,
Praise in each duty and each deed,
However small and mean.
Fill every part of me with praise;
Let all of my being speak,
Of Thee and of Thy love, O Lord,
Though I be poor, and weak.
So shalt Thou, Lord, from me, even me
Receive the glory due,
And so shall I begin on earth,
The song forever new.
So shall no part of day or night,
From sacredness be free;
But all my life in each step,
Be fellowship with Thee.