Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them.”
The older you get the more you understand the brevity of life. Each person is here only for a short time and no one truly knows what tomorrow will bring. The blessings we have today could evaporate into thin air tomorrow. So it behooves the wise man or woman to learn from the past and to plan for the future, but to live wisely in the moment.
I had a strange and unsettling experience this past week. My colleagues and I spent many hours at an empty school building in our county. A beautiful new complex now houses the many teachers, administration, and students who used to occupy the halls and rooms of this now abandoned building. So we were cataloging and taking pictures of excess equipment and supplies to sell at auction.
As we traipsed from room to room I couldn’t rid myself of a certain sadness stemming from the deafening silence and the leftover remnants of bustling days gone by. Teachers’ nameplates still identified each classroom. Forlorn plants sat on dusty desks, and dog-eared posters with encouraging slogans hung dejectedly on the walls. The whole atmosphere reminded me of a ghost town from an old TV western.
But the thing that hit the hardest was outside the school cafeteria. After eating lunch I stepped into the hall and noticed the area where morning announcements used to be posted. Out of curiosity I took a closer look at the page curling on the board. It was dated Thursday, March 12, 2020 — the day before everyone set their normal lives and routines aside to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. At the end of the announcements was this postscript, “Have a good three day weekend!”
No one knew that day they would not be coming back to this school in the same way they had done in the months and years before. Teachers taught and students learned online for the rest of the year. When everyone finally returned to a somewhat normal setting, it wasn’t to this old building. All the needed items were hurriedly moved to the new complex, but the morning announcement from March 12 remained on the board outside the cafeteria as a reminder of how quickly life can change.
A very wise man, King Solomon, understood the brevity of life. He spent his days seeking pleasure and fulfillment in all the wrong things. But as an older man, when life had worn heavy on him, he advised others to remember their Creator in the days of their youth. He learned from his past that all he had sought after was vanity that evaporated like a mist. He had wasted a good portion of his life and now time was short. He entreated his listeners to seek the only Person worth living for. The Creator and God of the universe is the One Who never changes. When life takes a hairpin turn He alone remains constant.
So take a lesson from a wise, old king and an abandoned school building; learn from the past and plan for the future, but live in the moment. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, because tomorrow comes quickly, and only He knows what it will bring.
Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.