Ecclesiastes 12:1 – Remember your Creator in the days of your youth. (NIV)
Recently, a number of events, contacts regarding a wedding with a young woman I baptized when she was a baby, my son's 53rd birthday, and now my own drawing near, have served to remind me that "Time marches on!" My body daily reminds me that there are many things that I enjoyed in time past, which I will never do again. All these things reminded me of the poem, "You are Old, Father William", written by Robert Southey, and parodied by Lewis Carroll in "Alice In Wonderland".
- You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
The few locks which are left you are grey;
You are hale, Father William, a hearty old man,
Now tell me the reason I pray.
I am chearful, young man, Father William replied,
Let the cause thy attention engage;
In the days of my youth I remember'd my God!
And He hath not forgotten my age.
There are many other delightful lines, which I will leave you to look up and enjoy, but these delight me because the sentiments in the last four lines express my own experience. Almost every day I experience anew the mercies of God, blessing my health, my finances, my friendships, and my family. Like the psalmist, I believe that He will not "cast me away when I am old" or "forsake me when my strength is gone." (Psalm 71:9 NIV) He will not forsake me! What a joy to know that my future is in the hands of One who loved us, loves us still — and died to show us how much! The secret of this lifelong relationship is found, as it was for Father William, in the fact that "In the days of my youth I remember'd my God!"
Prayer: Our loving God and Father, daily You prove, over and over, the depth of Your love for us. Work in our hearts now, that this day, and all days, we may find new ways of expressing our love for You by loving those in the midst of whose lives You let our lives unfold. Amen.