In her poem, “Let Evening Come,” American writer Jane Kenyon meditated on death: “Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned / in long grass. Let the stars appear / and the moon disclose her silver horn. / Let the fox go back to its sandy den. / Let the wind die down. Let the shed / go black inside. Let evening come. / . . . Let it come, as it will, and don’t / be afraid. God does not leave us / comfortless, so let evening come.”
Until Christ returns, we must all cross the river of death. Aging is inevitable. In today’s reading we’re advised, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (12:1), because the fact is that things get harder as one ages. This piece of advice or basic life truth is also stated in terms of light and darkness (11:7–8). “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eye to see the sun.” This is youth. Getting older is going to happen, but “However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all” while they can, because many “days of darkness” are coming. This is old age.
The aging process is described both poetically and candidly. The metaphor of light pictures the sun, moon, and stars growing dark and clouds covering the sky, pointing to our literally fading eyesight as well as to the loss of energy and memory (12:2). From a perspective “under the sun,” then, “youth and vigor are meaningless,”—not something to hope or trust in because they will disappear (11:10).
God’s judgment is a sobering fact (11:9; 12:14), but it does point to an abovethe- sun perspective on life’s eternal significance. Therefore, the best response is to “remember” our Creator, meaning to live heedful of and obedient to His commands.
Are you at the point in your life when light is sweet and youth and vigor plentiful? Or is the grasshopper dragging itself along (12:5–6)? In either case, the most important question is this: Are you ready to meet your Maker? Death is not the end. Are you heading for heaven or hell? Remember your Creator!