LESSON: Godliness acquired as a habit in youth, is recommended as the proper compensation for the natural cessation of youthful happiness which makes days of old age more or less evil; more evil in proportion since there is less of godliness in the heart, and less evil where there is more godliness.
'Young people can hardly imagine that they will ever get old, or that they will die. They feel immortal. And they are by nature sinners like everybody else, and feel like their life belongs to them. So they are naturally selfish, like all of us are. But they may be deliriously happy in
their selfishness as long as things go their way. Thoughts of self-sacrifice, of giving their lives in God's service, are unwelcome.
But there must come a time when that delirious exuberance is spent, and then the misery of feeble old age takes over. And if you haven't learned in your youth how to surrender your own will to God in the same way that Jesus surrendered His own will to His Father, then you find it a very difficult lesson to learn, and you are bitterly unhappy.
Solomon says quite wisely, "Remember your Creator while you are still young, before those dismal days and years come when you will say, 'I don't enjoy life.' That is when the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars will grow dim for you. ... Then your arms ... will tremble, and your legs, now strong, will grow weak. ... Your eyes too dim to see clearly. ... You will barely be able to hear ... music as it plays, but even the song of a bird will wake you from sleep. ... You will hardly be able to drag yourself along, and all desire will be gone" (Eccl. 12:1-4, GNB).
If you are young, "rejoice ... in thy youth, ... but know that ... God will bring thee into judgment" (Eccl. 11:9, KJV). Be sober; learn the lesson of the cross; make a conscious choice to let self be crucified with Jesus and pray His prayer, "Not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39).
And if you are old and you realize you have never truly prayed that prayer, thank God for every moment of consciousness yet granted to you and plead with Him earnestly to teach you that lesson of the cross.---Robert J. Wieland
What language shall I borrow
To thank thee, dearest friend,
For this thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end.