In the day when the keepers of the house tremble,
And the strong men bow down;
When the grinders cease because they are few,
And those that look through the windows grow dim.
Living and working daily in a senior community allows for unlimited opportunities to observe this group of people, of which we form a part. While we have our problems and limitations, there are some very positive traits for which we excitedly plead guilty.
The majority of people in these communities are quite positive in their outlook on life. I listen to their conversations and hear their responses from my joking approach to some of their serious situations. Again, the greater number can find it within to see humor in something, even when it is leading them to the grave. One lady shared how she had not been able to get together with her family for an extended period. She then proceeded: “Ted! They will all be at the funeral home when I pass away!” I was confident that she did not have lots of money and began to wonder what that statement was all about when she said: “They will come to gather and recycle all of the steel that is in my body. It is worth a fortune.”
When this old body begins to function in the manner described in Ecclesiastes 12, we must face the grim reality that each day, we are one day closer “home”. We can approach that moment with excitement, having trusted Christ as personal Savior; or we can approach it with fear, dreading the consequences of Hell and eternal separation from God.
We have thought much about Ecclesiastes 12 when it refers (verse 3) to the “keepers” (hands), or the “strong men” (legs), “grinders” (teeth), “windows” (eyes), (verse 4) “doors” (ears), “sound of grinding” (household conversation), (verse 5) “almond tree” (hair), “grasshopper drags” (weakness), “desire no longer stirred” (ulcers), “eternal home” (grave). More follows (verse 6) about the “silver cord loosed” (spinal cord), “golden bowl” (skull / brain), “pitcher broken” (lungs), and “wheel broken” (heart). We see it all with this frail body breaking down day by day. A man this week said that I move like an eighteen-year-old. Not so! But both of us enjoy relatively good health even though we might be closer “home” than we have ever been before.
How does one approach aging? It depends completely on how we envision eternity. Some are “standing on a banana peel” and slipping quickly. Patsy had ladies in her singing group that are more than 90 years of age. They didn’t have time to feel sorry for themselves. Like me, they wanted to die with their boots on.
The wise man went on to say: “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” From the human standpoint, that is so. From the eternal standpoint, that is far from the truth. Every moment of every day should be lived in confident anticipation… God is on the Throne! Through faith in His Son, Jesus as Savior and Lord, before long this body of clay will be left behind and a perfect body will take its place in a perfect environment in the presence of our perfect God and Savior. (John 14)