Right From the Start
“Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them.’” Eccl. 12:1 NIV
For some kids King Solomon’s words seem uninformed when he says “in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come.”
“Follow me around for one day,” they would like to tell him. “I’ll show you trouble.”
And yet, according to the Bible, Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived. So there must be something here that we are missing. For one thing, Solomon, not only the wisest, but the richest man that ever lived, had seen it all; achieved it all; had it all. He denied himself nothing that would bring him pleasure. He did many great things in his life to pursue his interests in architecture and biology, among others interests, but he also did sinful things like worshiping false idols and having many wives and concubines.
Actually, though, he had done what he is advising us to do. He had remembered His Creator in the days of his youth. As King David’s son, he was the one who built the temple that his father had always wanted to build. He was the one God told to ask whatever he wanted and it would be his. And he pleased God when he asked for wisdom to rule the people.
Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? Wikipedia defines it this way: “The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or, for that matter, prevent a tornado from appearing). The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.
The idea is that the way we do things now produces a much larger effect later on. I read not long ago that if you start a project and get the first 10- 15 % of the project right it will probably turn out ok even if there are things that go wrong later on..
I think that happened for King Solomon. He got the first part of his life right with God. He strayed often in his middle and later years, and when he reviewed his life in the book of Ecclesiasties he wrote: “’Meaningless. Meaningless!.’ Says the teacher. ‘Everything is meaningless!’”Eccl. 12: 8
But, because he got the first part of his life right, he was able to hold on to his belief in God through all the doubts and detours and troubles. His final conclusion only five verses later reads: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Eccl. 12:13
I hope you see the importance of keeping God in the center of your life, now, while you are young. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come”, in the sure hope that you will be able be faithful right up to the day you die and receive from Jesus the crown of life.
Dear Lord, We come asking that you keep us firm in our faith, especially now, while we are young. We want to love and serve you all the days of our lives. Help us to follow You from the early years of our lives until our final hours, that You may be praised for sending Jesus as our Redeemer and Friend. Make us a blessing to many by getting it right, right from the start. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
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Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom! Great writing, great devotional!
Katherine, this article is well-written and thought-provoking. I'd like to feature it as FaithWriters Front Page Showcase article for the week of April 23. Look for it on the home page that week!