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Don’t Waste This

August 30, 2011

As much as we try to avoid talking about it…and listen, I’m not one to sit around all day thinking about it either…death is unavoidable. And even as I say that, if I’m honest, it doesn’t really spark any sort of urgency. Even though I know that it is true, and I have no plans on being the one guy who somehow manages to avoid a physical demise, I don’t feel any surge of vigor to go do something…you know…just in case today’s the day.

If you will, take a moment and read through Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 today.

There is some urgency in Solomon’s voice in this passage. And really, that tone of urgency has been building over the course of the last few chapters of this book. It’s like he’s finally got us paying attention and he doesn’t want to miss an opportunity, that in all truth, might never present itself again. So he is sort of pleading with us to listen…to not miss what he’s saying…because at the end of the day…well, there is an end of the day.

Let’s try to be honest for a second. There are a lot of us waiting for something. Maybe it’s the right time, or the right person, or even the right place to do whatever it is that God is beckoning us to do. And listen…there is no way that I can know what God has planned for your life. But some of you right now…seriously, in this moment…are feeling a burden in your soul, in the very depths of your being, for something. You have a friend who needs to hear the Gospel. You have a family member that is heading off course and needs someone to go get them and walk them back to the right path. Whatever it is, what Solomon is telling us in these verses is that we need to stop waiting. He says, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth.” Don’t wait until you’re old…do it now. And since we all define youth differently, what I’ll tell you is this; if you are here…alive today…it’s because God has something that He wants you to do.

And listen, here’s where that urgency is coming from. Solomon, looking back on his life…all the parties, all the women, all the stuff…is remembering all the missteps he took and all the pain he felt because of it. And remember now, Solomon has done life on a level that many of us could never begin to understand. That’s why he can say with such decisiveness, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” It’s because he’s run off course. He’s wasted the time that he was given before, as he says, “Dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Now that the end of the race is near, it’s as if he is looking back and saying, “Son, don’t do as I did.” Now that the eyes aren’t working so well, and the ears are a little muffled…now he’s wishing he had the vitality of life that has gone from him. He’s unsteady on his feet, afraid of heights…just remembering the days when he was able to stand firm.

It might be a bit of a cliché, and it definitely is a John Piper quote, but seriously, “Don’t waste your life.” If we could somehow learn from this man, and somehow walk in genuine faith, and somehow stop waiting around, we might just find the fulfillment in life that God intends for us…walking in His grace. Selah.

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