Is It Really That Important?
Years ago, George Burns “sang” (well spoke it more than doing any singing) a song that has this verse and chorus…
Now time turns the pages And, oh, life goes so
The years turn the black hair all grey
I talked to some young folks Hey, they don’t
The words this old man’s got to say… I wish I was eighteen again
And going where I’ve never been, but old folks and old oaks
Standing tall just pretend I wish I was eighteen again
I have no desire to be 18 again! No doubt life does pass by very quickly, but if we live it well and live it in seeking to dedicate each day to the Lordship of Christ, the years grow more fulfilling. It is true that in our latter years, we cannot do lots of things we did in our youth. But the joy is that we have the privilege of loving our family even more as it grows to include sons and daughters-in law, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and hopefully a wide circle of friends. And, we have the joy of experiencing life in a deeper and more dynamic level.
Those that suffer the most from aging are those that never matured in their spiritual life. Like a teen, they are still seeking to satisfy sensual desires that can never be satiated. The more that the flesh has control, the more miserable a person is. Nothing in this world can ever satisfy our sensual desires for very long.
We were created to glorify God and to honor Him. Any quest that does not have that as its primary goal will create frustration, despair, guilt, and a sense of hopelessness since there is no pursuit of anything noble or enduring. History records the life story of all the “famous” people. Tragically, once their lives are exposed to the scrutiny of the sadness in which they lived, it is most often too late for them to change the script since they have long since died. But their choices can serve a great purpose for us if we learn by contrast to choose more wisely than they did to build our lives on the solid foundation of God’s will versus the shifting sands of self-will, self-wants, and self-confidence. One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. Proverbs 14:16.
The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease…Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in search for new sensation. What the paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber, one has some day to cry aloud from the house-top. I ceased to be lord over myself. I was no longer the captain of my soul and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace. (Oscar Wilde, quoted by Wm. Barclay, Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, p. 100).