Relish your youthful vigor.
Follow the impulses of your heart.
If something looks good to you, pursue it.
But know also that not just anything goes;
You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.
Live footloose and fancy free—
You won’t be young forever.
Youth lasts about as long as smoke.
n Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 (TMSG)
It’s been awhile, but I remember some stuff about youth (some foolish stuff I’d rather forget).
Solomon, the wise preacher of Ecclesiastes, had much to regret about his youthful days of “vanity”. As a king, he had nearly unlimited resources, wealth and power; his was the life of the rich and famous. What Solomon saw (when young) as grabbing for the best experiences and living the best, most exciting, pleasure-filled life, turned out to be a wisp of smoke, a faded illusion.
When the king was old the bills came due. And what he wrote in his old age was that he had been a fresh-faced kid with a life of privilege and opportunity ahead – but he wasted it chasing the wind. He had followed his youthful heart and impulses, and it led to a wild ride down the road of foolish, prideful and selfish decisions. And that became the mud-hole of regret in old age.
Solomon’s life was a life of imbalance; he was wise but didn’t his wisdom wisely! He failed to recognize that he what he was trying to do with his life was like nailing Jell-o to a wall; it just doesn’t work! Even if you manage to get enough nails to support cold Jell-o, eventually it will melt, sag and disappear, cascading to an orange stain on the floor molding.
A life of imbalance, living purely to please self, ends in vanity, emptiness, a void! In the 1954 movie “Magnificent Obsession” Rock Hudson’s character is a spoiled playboy, who, like Solomon “had it all”. His careless “try everything to make me happy” approach to life brings nothing but misery and calamity. And in the wake of his irresponsibility and imbalance the people around him paid a great price. The man’s life was a disaster. In the end he learns that in the process of giving his life away in the service of others he receives the only true sense of happiness life offers.
Jesus put it this way:
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.
If you try to
hang on to your life, you will lose it. But
if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
Matthew 16:24 - 25 (NLT)
For You, Today…
Is your life “on-balance”? Have you discovered your “niche” of giving yourself away to others, so that their lives may be blessed and enriched?