Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them” (Ecc.12:1)
One of the most exciting and memorable events in the life of a young person is graduation day. Aside from obeying the gospel, and choosing a mate for life, graduation ranks as one of the most noteworthy and anticipated achievements in one’s life. Life from this point forward will forever be altered. The prospect of furthering one’s education, or entering directly into the workforce loom large. The realities of life begin to beset the graduate as one prepares for making his/her own way in the world. With all of the hard work and excitement surrounding graduation, and the anticipation and perhaps anxiety of facing what lies ahead, I wish to offer some Biblical advice for our young graduates that will help guide them in whatever they undertake from henceforth.
REJOICE. The writer of Ecclesiastes writes, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth” (Ecc.11:9). Now is a time of great joy and happiness in the life of a young person. Many serious responsibilities will befall the young person soon enough, so take advantage of this time in your life to enjoy the pleasures that youth brings. The wise man issues this caveat regarding the pleasures of youth, “But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” God desires that we be happy and enjoy life, but it must be tempered with the thought that we will give account of our actions before God. Many attempt to thrust adulthood upon our young people much too quickly, not allowing them the opportunity to enjoy and cherish their youth. Before the responsibilities of a spouse, a family, a regular occupation, bills, failing health, etc., set in, take the time to relish this time of your life in a way that will honor God.
REMOVE. Solomon continues, “Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh” (Ecc.11:10). As young people begin to mature and progress toward adulthood, they would do well to realize their need to do away with childish behaviors and thoughts, and to become more sober-minded and spiritually concerned. While youth is a time to be enjoyed, it is also a time to distance yourself from those things which would cause heartache and trouble.
REMEMBER. The wise man’s advice for youth continues with these words, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecc.12:1). There is no better time to draw nigh to God than when one is young. Solomon will describe in the verses that follow the onset of old age and the problems associated with the aging process. As we grow older, more problems, more responsibilities, more things vie for our attention than they do in the days of youth. The heart is often more receptive to the truths of God’s word in youth than it is as age advances. Many times, we become set in our ways over time, and our hearts become hardened toward the word of God. The likelihood of one obeying the Gospel diminishes with the passing of time, so it is best to seize the opportunity to do so now. Follow these words of Divine wisdom, and your life will be full of joy and happiness, and you will be a success in God’s eyes.
“Heavenly Father, bless our youth. Thank you for their enthusiasm and joy. Help them to serve you while they are young, so they might continue to serve you all the days of their life. Allow us to be mentors to them so that they might walk in your way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”