Father, help me hear when You call me. Help me lay down everything so that I might find You.
 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”-  before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;  when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim;  when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint;  when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets. Remember him-before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well,  and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.  “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Everything is meaningless!”  Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.  The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.  The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails-given by one shepherd.  Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Reflect:WHAT IS THE TEACHER'S ULTIMATE PERSPECTIVE?
In verses 1 to 7, the Teacher paints a grim word-picture of death. There is a fatal finality about death, which comes inevitably, and to everyone. So does it matter whether we are wise or foolish, righteous or unrighteous? The thrust of the book seems to cry, “All is meaningless!” Yet, scattered throughout are hints that there is more to life than what’s experienced “under the sun”–glimpses of God pointing to life beyond the sun.These hints now solidify into a firm conclusion: “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing…” (14). Far from nothing mattering, everything matters; and everything we do is of great significance since it is taken seriously enough to be subject to God’s judgment. Everything matters–eventually and eternally. Throughout the book we note a marked emphasis on the Teacher’s spin on life’s issues. Finally, however, acknowledging that it is what God thinks that matters, the Teacher prescribes the only fitting response: “Fear God. Do what he tells you” (13b, The Message).
Write an obituary for yourself, and consider how the choices of your life will look in light of the eternal.
Loving Father, when people see me, may they recognize Your likeness.
Syndicated via Scripture Union