Read: Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8
“To you who boast tomorrow’s gain, tell me…what is your life?
A mist that vanishes at dawn…”
A little over a month ago, my oldest son stood before a group of about 200 people and made vows to a beautiful young girl that I now get to call my daughter-in-law. It all happened in the blink of an eye. I’m not referring to the ceremony or their engagement. They’ve known each other since preschool. I mean all of it.
As soon as Lindsay and I had adjusted to his infant years, he was moving into the toddler stage. By the time we had figured out how to enter a room and scan for open outlets, antiquities within reach, and unguarded stairways, he was done with diapers and learning his ABC’s. We blinked, and he was entering grade school. Another bat of the eyes and he was entering youth group. Now my baby boy is living on his own with a wife he loves very much and calling to ask me where to find the best prices on tires for her car. Blink!
I don’t know how God has used our study of the book of Ecclesiastes to open your heart and mind to things previously unseen, but the reality of life’s brevity now has a new moniker: hevel. My life is a mist that is quickly vanishing with every new dawn. I will soon be the one who lacks desire because my body can’t sustain it. It seems hard to believe right now, but my vigor will wane simply because my body won’t be able to keep up.
I had a conversation this morning with two friends about the changing seasons of my life. One of them asked me, “Your oldest is married and living in Nashville. Your other two boys are off at youth camp. It’s just you, your wife, and your daughter this week. Are you enjoying it?” As I considered her question, it struck me that there’s really nothing I can do to stop the changes that are coming. I will continue to blink, and my kids will continue to grow up, and my wife and I will continue to grow old. Just as this summer heat will soon be relieved by the fall breeze, the changing seasons are inevitable. So the question is this: will I receive the coming changes with thankfulness and hope, or will I allow resentment and bitterness of the time lost to rob me of contentment and joy?
I choose joy.