The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools. Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For you do not inquire wisely concerning this. Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and profitable to those who see the sun. (Ecclesiastes 7:8-11)
Life And Wisdom
It is hard to see the value of life until we see the purpose of life. Youth is a time of vitality spirited by the endless hope of a new day with little consideration of the frailty of life. Old age brings wisdom with the conviction that life is short and there are more important values to living than the useless pursuits of trivial matters. A contrast of the beginning and the end. Wisdom is not found in the beginning of a thing but the end. The patient spirit finds greater peace than the impetuous heart. Contentment springs from the life lessons taught in pursuing the meaning of life from an eternal view. The emotions God has placed in man should not be recklessly allowed to control our lives but through the word of God find the power to exercise restraint. Holding back anger saves one from being shown a fool but it also teaches the trait of self-control. Impulsive living causes a man to live in the past more than the present pretending the former days were better. Believing the ‘good old days’ were so much better lacks contentment for the blessings God has given for the day. It is foolish to live in the past for the days of yesterday can never return or change. Living in the present is finding wisdom in what can be accomplished now.
Contentment is hard because there is a desire to have more things, more time living for the moment without the consequence of tomorrow looming overhead. The frantic rush of life is a blur of trivial pursuits that bring little fulfillment and satisfaction. Wisdom directs the heart to look at the end of a matter and consider. Patience allows a settled view of the unfolding nature of why God has placed us here. The purpose of man is not to consume his life with earthly things. It has always been the will of the Lord to bring man to Himself in the joys of eternal life. The end of life is better than the beginning because of the reward that waits. A patient heart is content to allow the course of life to bring an understanding into view as God sees the matters of life.
Looking back to days gone by with greater fondness than the present is a fool’s folly. There are many great memories of childhood and early life that are coated with the veneer they are better days than now. It is true childhood was enjoyable because of the innocence and younger days had a freshness that made everything sparkle. To imply these were better days denies the wisdom gained through a life of hardship and troubles that have molded the character into a better person. It is unwise to spend the present in the past because the past will never change the present. Life is about the time we have now. The forgiveness of God removes the mistakes of the past as repentance changes the present to live more holy before the Lord. The days of yesterday were not always as good as we believe but we can make today to be a time of renewal and commitment. The sun shines today – not yesterday and not tomorrow. Every man has the opportunity to change the world. Wisdom comes from learning the meaning of life is what we accomplish today.
Life is like a grain of wheat: to plant it is to recognize its value; to keep it is to destroy its value. The “planted” Christian counts life dear not unto himself but unto God. (Vance Havner; 1901-1986)