”…the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets…” Ecclesiastes 12:5
We moved to Adelaide in June 1992. One of the lasting memories about our move here is the blossoming almond trees we were seeing as we travelled on South Road. The blossoming almond trees were heralds of the coming spring.
The author of the Book of Ecclesiastes refers to old age as the time when the almond tree blossoms.
The opening words of chapter 12 show us that the author had the young people in mind, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…” (v.1a).
One of the results of remembering our Creator while young is that life and work become enjoyable instead of being wasted.
The key theme of this Book is the search for the meaning of life. The meaning of life is not found in the relentless pursuit of pleasure, satisfaction, accomplishments. Life and work became a burden, a routine. The author attempted to find meaning in all these, yet concluded that it is a meaningless pursuit. “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Eccl 2:11).
Enjoying the simple, every day, and mundane events of life – that is the “secret” of a happy life. “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do” (Eccl. 9:7ff).
That comes as a result of having a divine worldview. “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment” (Eccl.11:9).
Old age ought not to be a season of despair and gloom. Remembering our Creator brings joy through the memories acquired and through the thought of an eternal life lived in His presence.