“It is better to go to a home where there is mourning than to one where there is a party, because the living should always remind themselves that death is waiting for us all. Sorrow is better than laughter; it may sadden your face, but it sharpens your understanding. Someone who is always thinking about happiness is a fool. A wise person thinks about death.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4)
Looking at these verses, I don’t think Solomon was invited to many parties. I mean, seriously Solomon? Don’t you know #yolo ?!* We need to live life footloose and carefree, having fun, following our dreams, and living for the moment! Well, fortunately, Solomon did realize that we only live once, and that’s why these words should definitely be heeded.
The point that Solomon is making, I believe, is that death is more thought provoking than the life of the party. Death makes us stop and evaluate our lives, realizing how short and tenuous they are. To be in a euphoric atmosphere is to disguise the reality around us. This is good, it is good to have fun, and to be in a place where happiness takes priority; however, if we are never brought back down to earth, our lives will be filled with frivolous activities. We need both happiness and mourning: a balance of the two is necessary.
Our lives are short. Yet, it is hard to believe that it will end one day. This past week my great-grandma died, and although she was 95 it still makes me think. I think about when I get to be that age, what will I see when I look back? Will I be satisfied with what I have accomplished, or will I wish I had done more?
“Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17)
“You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears.” (James 4:14)
So often we say tomorrow. Ah, I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll talk to that person tomorrow, I’ll do better tomorrow, or I’ll try tomorrow, the list goes on. But the thing is, what if tomorrow never comes? I like to remind myself that I don’t know if I have tomorrow, or even the next five minutes, but I have right now. I have this moment. I really try to live like that – making moments count in a meaningful way, not always for my happiness, but to bring glory to the name of Jesus. Because, if everything I say and do is supposed to be in the name of Jesus, then it better reflect the heart of Jesus.
“Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.” (Proverbs 6:4)
There is really no time to waste in life. Every moment that we live may be the last. My life is so short here, but what happens here determines my life for eternity. So if you see an opportunity that God is giving you, I encourage you to take it. Don’t let fear dictate you, don’t let laziness guide you, allow God to give you the courage and determination needed to accomplish what he has purposed in your life. So that on that day where you find yourself at a funeral and are evaluating your life you can know that you are living your life with meaning and purpose, feet planted on a solid rock, and not living for fleeting emotions.
So choose now. Start living now. God will call us all home: will you be ready?
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
*yolo: You only live once (for readers who are not familiar with the acronym)