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The Sojourner Blog

How Do You Feel About Growing Old?

Posted by Steven Light on

How do you feel about growing old? That may be a touchy question in a culture that is preoccupied with youth.  Did you know that God has something to say about this? 

In Ecclesiastes 11, God affirms the goodness of youth.  Verse 9 says, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth.” Youth is good. Rejoice in it if you have it.  He even says “Walk in the ways of your heart.”  The world is full of goodness, so go the way of your heart. Let those who are young take up athletics if you love athletics.  Run with all your strength.  Explore nature if you love nature. Set your young mind to learn all about God’s world while your brain is sharp. Develop your talents and interests: academic, musical, artistic, whatever it may be.

But there is a critical qualification to this.  Verse 10 says, “Remove vexation from your heart, and put away evil from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.”  Yes, youth is a gift from God, but youth is also vanity in the sense that it is fleeting.  It cannot supply lasting joy.  It cannot meet human longing or carry the weight of eternity.  Often people don’t want to believe this.  Often people idolize youth and try to cling to it forever.  This is sinful and it is striving after the wind.  What a sad path it is, trying to hold on to something that is bound to pass away.  

God directs us to the only thing that puts youth in its rightful place, which is Himself.  “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth…” (Ecclesiastes 12:1) Soon, he argues, your body will age and die.  Soon your spirit will return to God who gave it.  Soon you will come to the judgment.  There is only One who can supply lasting joy.  There is only One who can carry eternity.  There is only One who is worthy of worship.  Will you remember him when you are young?  Will you remember him when you are old?  Won’t you look to Jesus Christ for grace to cover your sins and lead you to solid joys and lasting treasure?

Tags: youth, ecclesiastes, old age