“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 1 Cor. 4:16.
Apologies to the multitude of followers of this blog, but some things came up that forced an extended hiatus. I had to write three papers and then take some finals. You know, you can really read a lot of material in a short period of time if you have to! But now I am back in the saddle, as they say.
I finished my last final yesterday at 4:00 p.m. When I got home, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I hadn’t done anything but read and study for two weeks straight. So I watched an old James Bond movie from the Sixties (one of the ones my parents wouldn’t let me see when I was a kid because it was too racy!). While I watched, I started calculating the ages of the actors and actresses and realized that many of them were now dead or near dead. I realized, one more time, how old I have gotten and how quickly life passes.
My life’s ambition has been to become wise. But the older I get, the more persuaded I become that wisdom is very, very simple stuff. It is that which is right in front of us. It isn’t some obscure insight known only by some guru in a remote Himalayan village. It is what is in plain view.
Nothing is more plainly visible than that we are wasting away. Our life is being spent and will eventually hit empty. Until we have accounted for this, we have nothing. Once we solve this, we have everything.
In Ecclesiastes 9:3, the author says “the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.” What I get out of this is that typically there is a massive disconnect between how we live and the reality of our end. If you looked at how we spent our “time, talent and treasure”, you would assume we thought we were going to live forever.
Jesus warned us about this way of living. His catchphrase to describe this foolishness was that it meant that the end would come “like a thief in the night” — when we are not prepared for it and not expecting it. This is what it he said of the man who kept building bigger and bigger barns to hold his stuff. He called him a fool.
In contrast, I think the author of Ecclesiastes is saying that a wise man lives with the end in mind. He sees his end first and then works backwards. His end dictates what and how and why he does what he does now. May God make us so wise!
P.S. The first picture is of the 1960’s French starlet and siren of the silver screen, Brigitte Bardot!
P. P. S. So is the second one!