In a few weeks I turn 45. I am not sure exactly how I made it halfway to 90, nor am I sure that I have actually taken that many trips around the sun. God is good and his rescue of me seems like yesterday, but the years wear on and no one can stop them. As King David penned, "Oh Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am" (Psalm 39:4).
Some years ago my father confessed to me that he had looked in the mirror and wondered who the older gentleman was staring back at him. Now at the middle of my years, with my hair thinning and graying, my waistline no longer cooperating with my desire to fit in my pants, and the general world-weariness that comes with life in a fallen world, I am beginning to understand his point. While, should the Lord tarry, I have many more years to go before retirement, it is bittersweet to think that the life I have built, the ministry I have done, the Gospel I have preached will come to an end for me. As I look forward from middle age I am beginning to understand that I am finite and that my end will come in this world, though my eternity is with the Lord.
I suppose I will have to pick and read Ecclesiastes when the day arrives in a few weeks. Somehow that book seems more relevant to me every year that passes.