What are our “golden years?” The term came into use in the mid-1950s to describe those years after the age of 65, as human beings move out of the gloom often associated with mid-life, when one’s mortality is realized, into our final years of happiness and rest in retirement from work. But are these years truly “golden?” Or is it more accurate and honest to define the “golden years,” as one website does: “The term used by old folks who are too attached to their youth to admit that they are in fact … old.”
The book of Ecclesiastes is one old man’s effort to teach young people about life, from a look back at the lessons he learned often from his own mistakes. As he draws his treatise to a close, old Qoheleth contrasts the light, vigor, pleasure and hope of youth with the darkness, weakness, pain, and sorrow of age. He uses this stark contrast in order to motivate his young audience to enjoy life by rejoicing in their Creator, before life’s misery gets a hold of them. He exhorts them to commence early in their worship of God, so that they might develop a habit of finding their joy in Him; because, once we enter into the winter of life, and the days of darkness are upon us, we cannot rejoice in retrospect.
Human life is like a vapor, it is fleeting, so don’t waste any time – rejoice in the Lord today, and every day. Remember your Creator and all that He has given you to rejoice in. The younger you are when you start, the longer will your years be truly “golden.”