People often attribute the mistakes they make early in life to youthful exuberant. They attribute their failures and mediocrity to YOUTHFULNESS. But should youthfulness be an excuse? This is the focus of this morning‘s first reading from Ecclesiastes. Most people agree that the teacher mentioned in Ecclesiastes is actually King Solomon.

Solomon was born out of sin – his father was King David, and his mother was Bathsheba, the woman with whom David had an affair. Despite this, God blessed Solomon and made him King after David died. One night, after offering 1000 sacrifices, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and told him he could have anything he wanted. Solomon wished for wisdom and discernment. Because of this, Solomon is still known as the wisest man who ever lived. So if the wisest man who ever lived says that everything is meaningless, we should listen, right?

It’s interesting to note that while Solomon was wise, he still sinned greatly. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. WHAT? WOW! Deuteronomy says that the king shall not “multiply wives”. If that sin wasn’t bad enough, he allowed their influence to lead him into idolatry. He got to the point where he was more concerned with acquiring more wealth and power than seeking the face of God.

When Solomon grew old, then, he began to realize what was really important. He regretted the mistakes of his youth, and set out to advice the subsequent generations against making similar mistakes in the first reading text of today:
You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Don’t spend your life worrying that your youth will set you apart. Youth is meaningless! Age is meaningless! Strength is meaningless! Beauty is meaningless.

Really? Yep. “Everything is meaningless”. Solomon makes it clear in his book that the only thing that really matters is God, your relationship to God, your pursuit of God. Everything else — age, wealth, popularity, beauty, intelligence, strength– don’t matter. This is a timely message for the youths of today who do not listen to anything. Girls feel they are the most beautiful, jumping from one man to another, one community to another marketing their bodies, all in the name of happening babes. Boys feel they are strong and hard men, take all kinds of drugs and substances that are harmful to their system, joining one cult group or another, and committing all kinds of atrocities. Solomon speaking from experience says, regret, regret and regret is what lies at the end of the day for those who live like this. The way you lay your bed, so shall you lie on it. Youthfulness is not an excuse for failure and mediocrity. Seek the Lord now, that tomorrow you’ll not regret.



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