“All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.”
Ecclesiastes 3:20 ESV
I have always been a late bloomer, and so, I suppose it should come as no surprise that I have waited until the ripe old age of sixty to enter my mid-life crisis. Not that we can chart the average age of such things, but I guess I was expecting it a few years ago, maybe in my mid-fifties. Now, so that you young whipper-snappers understand what a mid-life crisis is, it is realizing, in a moment, that you have less life ahead of you than behind you. It is hearing the roar of the waterfall just around the bend and knowing that you have no other choice then to fall over it into the chasm below. It is a boxed-in feeling. You say things like, “I hope to have twenty more good years left,” and “If my health stays good…” The thought occurred to me this morning that in ten years, my daughter could be a grandmother. The end is coming, and time is terribly short.
But the bad news gets worse. No one will remember us when we are gone. I recently mentioned Frank Sinatra before our congregation and all the young people gave me a blank look. The sad fact is, if they don’t remember Frank, they won’t remember you. Karen and I were recently on a carriage tour of Central Park in New York City with our ten-year-old granddaughter. The guide was pointing out all the places that popular movies had been filmed. Lorelai was silent until he mentioned the TV show, Jessie. (For you old fogies, Jessie was a Disney show aired a few years ago) The guide finally had her attention. The point is, whatever our generation did will be forgotten. All our accomplishments will fade away with the next crop of renegades. Kick up all the dust you can, I will be settled into the ground before you’re cold in the grave.
So, what are we to do, sit around waiting to die and hope we are not a burden to our children? Wallow about in the glories of how life use to be? I think not. My father once told my uncle that those who live in the past have no future. Good words. If I have twenty more good years, then let them be the best twenty years of my life. I refuse to watch life zoom past. I will slow it down and drink it in. But there is one more point be made, and it is the grandest thought of all. At the end of this short and sometimes frustrating life, lays an eternity of endless bliss for those who know Christ. Really, this 70, 80 years we rustle about on this spinning globe are only a prologue to a never-ending story. So, take heart old-timer, we are just getting started. In the meanwhile, I think I’ll go shopping for a new, red sports car.