I love the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s definitely one of my favorite books to read in the Bible. I was thinking about this year, my age(I’m in my late teens at the moment) and just life in general. Apparently some argue that the 12 disciples of Jesus were in their teens when they decided to follow Jesus! I’m not sure how true that is, but what i do definitely believe is that they were below 30.
In society today, people are either classified as babies, children, teens or adults. However i think the expectation of maturity greatly differs in various parts of the world. Someone else suggested that Mary the mother of Jesus was in her late teens(16-20) when she was pregnant to give birth to Jesus and betrothed to be married to Joseph. This also is a huge shock to me! Coming from Nigeria, in my opinion and from my perspective, there’s a lower expectation for teenagers to be mature in that context(Seems that way to me!). Studying in the UK, my observation from amongst my friendship circles has been varied. Whilst some still doubt they believe in the institution of marriage, some are engaged to be married by 20/21. The latter has also been a huge culture shock to me as well! However, i greatly admire the fact that many start to work on paid jobs from their teenage years in the UK. I believe this helps to increase their self-confidence as well as expose young adults to the value of responsibility.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 would advice,
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”
I remember we had this verse stuck somewhere on the wall, when i went to my Christian boarding school in Nigeria. Although i never really paid attention to it, these words are plaguing my mind once again today.
It is a lie to believe that you won’t ever die. It’s not reality. It might be optimistic, but it’s not reality. I want more than optimism, i want reality. So why waste your time on what does not satisfy? It’s meaningless. Why waste your time clinging to the spirit of the age? It’s all fleeting, passing away quickly.
On Youthful Exuberance…
The young shall grow. Youth is wasted on the young, says an online blog i read today. I don’t believe you have to be foolish because you’re young. I believe we need to call more young people to maturity rather than pampering them. Sadly, as a young teenager, i’ve been to so many christian youth groups that feed one another with video games and meaningless conversations. Don’t get me wrong- I believe there is a room for light talk and a bit of banter. However, i find that the older people get to be taught the ‘meaty’ stuff. There’s nothing as beautiful as seeing devoted and dedicated young people who have wisdom at a young age. I love reading about the lifestyle of John the Baptist- this man that was described by Jesus as a burning and a shining lamp, and the greatest man born of woman. This man lived a radical lifestyle of prayer, fasting and meditation on the Word, and was martyred at 30. That may look so foolish on this side of time but then Jesus would answer and defend this man’s life and say, ‘Wisdom will be justified by her children’. In other ways, “I will vindicate this man’s lifestyle on that day. He will be great for billions and billions of years in the eternal city. You have said he is demonised, but i will openly declare the wisdom in this man’s choices. And though it seems like a short time to live in this present age, this man’s eyes are fixed on something more, something lasting of greater splendor, beauty, magnificence and glory”.
Any thoughts? 🙂