By Clay Hallmark
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Lexington
There was once an elderly gentleman who loved playing golf. But he was almost 80, and his vision was not very good anymore. He always had partners with him when he went out to play so they could watch his ball and tell him where it went.
One day his buddies did not show up. It was a beautiful day for golf, and as he waited at the clubhouse, he got more and more upset that he wasn’t going to get to play his round. Another elderly man in the clubhouse saw him and asked, “What’s wrong?” The man explained his predicament: “I was really looking forward to playing golf today. But I don’t see very well anymore, so I need someone to watch the ball after I hit.”
The second man was even older than he was, but he said, “That’s no problem. I’ll be glad to ride around with you. I’ve got 20/20 vision. I can see like a hawk. You just hit the ball, and I’ll watch it fly right down the fairway.” So, they went out on the first tee, and the old man hit the ball right down the center. He turned to his spotter. “Did you see it?” The man replied, “I saw it all the way until it stopped rolling.” “Well, where did it go?” The older man paused for a moment and then said, “I forgot.”
Even the best-laid plans don’t always work out regardless of our age. This is a reality we all have to face every day. So how should you live when you’re not sure how things are going to turn out? Solomon says, “Don’t play it safe — take risks based on obedience to God.”
Notice two things we learn from Solomon:
First, Solomon helps us see that life is filled with opportunities for God (Ecclesiastes 11:7-10). This life has purpose. Often when we are young, we live life as if there are no consequences. In fact, we live in a world that teaches young people to live as if life has no accountability.
Solomon is filled with wisdom. He is reminding each of us that God gives us many opportunities to live our lives to the fullest. However, he warns that our choices and decisions in this life have consequences.
The freedom we have from sin in Christ is not a freedom to sin. We are free to pursue the Lord’s purposes for our lives as He continually opens doors of opportunity for us. We must remember that Jesus gives us a warning and a promise about this life in John 10:10, when He says, “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
Today, your life could be described as a life of “abundance” or a “complete” life if you are choosing to pursue the Lord’s purposes and will for your life. As opportunities come into your life this week to serve the Lord and serve others, make these opportunities a priority of life and see if your life is not more abundant.
Second, Solomon helps us see that life should be filled with obedience toward God (12:12-14). Solomon examined every area of his life. He looked at his work. He examined his wealth. He evaluated his family and his health. He even studied his devotion to the Lord. He came to the conclusion that a full life is one that is filled with God and obedience to His Word and to His will. As we live our lives for the Lord, we find true contentment in this life that cannot be taken away from us by the ever-changing circumstances that surround us.
Jesus said it this way in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”