Going through the process of finding a new job is just weird. I know a few specifics of what I’m being “called to”, but I don’t know much. There is this lie that trips me up that says, “What Baptist church is going to hire a 22 year-old single female?”
Interesting enough, I found some hope in Ecclesiastes (Imagine that!). In the concluding chapters, it says (in the Heather Version): “Rejoice in your youth and do what you want. But remember that God will judge you for all those things. Remember God while you are YOUNG, before all the hard years come with trial after trial. Remember him before your body gets old—when your body falls apart, your teeth fall out, you can’t see or hear anything, your voice weakens, you can’t sleep at night, you get paranoid and overprotective and don’t take any more risks, your hair grays, and you don’t ‘desire’ anymore. Rejoice in him before you return to dust and your spirit returns to God.”
My culture tells me to get all the bad things out of my system now—to go ahead and party, drink copious amounts of alcohol, have sex with whoever I want, and to be selfish. A “Boys Will Be Boys” kind of theology. Solomon here says, “Sure, you can do whatever you want…But remember God still judges you for these things. In fact, you should be using this time to take ADVANTAGE of being able to do things for God, because one day you won’t be able to.”
Generally speaking, young people can serve God easier. Young people are the ones who are asked to do disaster relief; they are stronger, faster, and have the time. Young people are not as burdened with some of the weights of this world; this can include financial weights as well as some of the burdens that come with growing older such as death and heartbreak. Young people have more energy and can devote more time to getting things accomplished for the kingdom.
Older people have a lot to bring to the kingdom, too. God did not make a mistake with making aging—if he only desired older people, we’d all be born in our 60s. And if God thought all we needed was the benefits that come with being young, we’d be in our 20s forever.
This passage was of great encouragement to me. I shared it with some of my students, and they couldn’t get past the whole “Solomon is saying our body is gonna fall apart” thing. Solomon’s point in that depressing message is, “Why wait until you are older to do work for God? Do it now.”
God affirmed this truth in me with Andy Mineo’s song “Young.” Listen to it :)