On my last birthday I turned 60. Not exactly old, to those who are older, and not exactly young to those who are younger, but here I am at the peak of my prime. From here I can see down the slope toward the latter chapters of life, and I can see the past very clearly as well. From this vantage point, I am amazed at how much has changed around me in my brief journey.
When I was a child, I remember working in the garden, mowing the lawn, mending fences, going to school, etc. “Spare time” was a precious commodity in those days. The ancients that I knew growing up, spoke of life in their youth as harder still. They spent time doing things that were necessary to sustain life. They harvested, canned and cured their food for the winter. They milked the cows and made their own cheese and butter. There was also sewing, cooking, chopping wood, etc. A whole day of recreation or relaxation was almost unheard of.
Today we have the advantage of technology that makes life much easier. We have microwaves, electric appliances, pre-cooked meals, automobiles and multi-lane roads that take us anywhere within a vast radius of our homes in a matter of minutes. Our homes are heated and cooled automatically. We get our water from the faucets located in multiple places within our dwellings, and the list goes on. With all of the time saving technological advances, we don’t have to spend so much time working to live.
In spite of the busyness of yesteryear, I also remember that we ate meals together, and were somehow able to visit family and friends occasionally. We were faithful to the house of the Lord and somehow found time for the Word of God and prayer. It’s puzzling to me how with all of the time that our modern contrivances have afforded us, these vital elements seem to have suffered decline. And yet God says we should be, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16).” Perhaps we should take time to listen.