When the sun turned down for the day and golden light peaked through the edges of my living room blinds throwing glistening shadows onto dim walls, my eyes assumed the same golden gleam with thoughts of recent hours. The sun grew over walls and furniture—and all the swells of the day—for the hour or so of light’s gold: the dining room table where a candle earlier sped and smoked, the distant corner of the kitchen where orange slices were held and bites were taken alongside grins and chats, and the stairs that withheld against pounded motions of every happening, whether languid and clomping or running late with clipping.
My lips met spiced tea and my mind swelled over those waves of the day, freeing the memories that active minutes compress—enumerating the menagerie of surges and stages. Finally, the thought came as the sun yielded to the downward pull and the last spark was gone before night’s scroll was unrolled—Was this one well lived?
The last light fell, and I had all appreciation for that unique sunset slice of the day—it was like the lightning that flares when a person of mystery speaks revealingly and the rarity only adds to gratitude and wonder, leaving a trace of want for when it will happen again. So, a sunset does not grace the every minute, and with the last light, today’s provoked, Can you be content to mirror many other days after today’s strains?
Now, if one can enter near, a late octo- or nonagenarian might musingly review not a day of life for Christ, but a life. The gray hair of the godly, that crown of splendor and honor (Prov. 16:13), affords its own glow for watching eyes—perhaps the brightest and fiercest sparks of belief and holy desire. Chair close, one hears of minds that have worked and worked, and of hearts’ resolve, and eternity’s splendor insight from earliest days. One might hear of children and family, and friendships and ministry while witnessing the effects of prayer’s secret dependency. One will certainly hear of Christ, as the godly gray are naturally nearest, anticipatorily, to see His face in all of glory’s bright.
In these, my elders, I’ve seen steps of resolve, commitment to the path that is straight. Steps that haven’t veered back and away or circled, as with a loose, stray connection—but have traveled steadily, with a resolve that started from the dedication of earliest teenage days (Ecclesiastes 12:1). I’ve heard of consistency in studying, of adeptness with mastering one day’s portion of Scripture at a time to accumulate wealth, a considerable responsibility—without having been shirked or shunned, but received as weighty and worthy duty (Prov. 1:7, 2:2; 2 Tim. 2:15). I’ve noticed the freedom and joy, and sole honor for Christ, in the gray-haired whose finances have long reflected the weight of eternity and Scripture’s guiding hand, for whom money has not directed decisions of value, for the path to heaven is highest (Matt. 6:19, 23).
Pure sparks have graced my sight of love for family, care for husbands and wives while in view of a marriage-honoring God (Heb. 13:4), and for the ministry that began in one’s home—how instruction and love of children has not been seen as secondary but as prized with piles of devoted time (Deut. 6:5-9). With the family of God, I’ve seen the peace of relationships that are deemed successes if giving has been sacrificial—where mutuality has been warmly welcomed, but personal fulfillment has not been given the status of being the aim or goal (Phil. 2:3). I have beheld how the deposit of truth has been regarded—the fountain for unity (2 Tim. 1:14; Rom. 16:17-20) and how speaking its core message of the King has served as compassion for those in the dark (Rom. 10:14).
Gazed fixed, I have gleaned themes of wisdom, that when tutors have been sought for the school of saintly life, selectivity and standards have been welcomed by all. For good mentors have been careful to bow and exegete well the holy Word—pointing to those who have been advanced in maturity and dedication—with thoughtfulness to approve by Scripture every influence, faithfully, no matter the cost (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 1:9-10). Now, when I hunt for their lives of prayer, I scarcely collect in my sight all that’s certainly there—for they are faithful to the Lord’s instruction, to maintain reverent secrecy (Matt. 6:5-6). Yet, in their lives’ humility and given trust, evidence abounds of those who have long ago settled that they can do nothing, would never want to do anything, apart from Him (John 15:5; Phil. 4:11-13).
I’ve traced my hand over a life’s day to follow the sparkling-sun-movement, a sun still graciously lasting by God’s hand to have come this evening after visiting lives of all ages. And as golden hours will double and triple and more in my experience, Lord willing, tomorrow and the next day again, I will have less and less propensity for youthful doubtfulness in the truth that my days are short—just as He has said (Jas. 4:14). My home will travel through sunset again; while I sip that tea and steep in the swells, the lightning spark of want noted in my day-end light—my question—is now seated in Scripture’s witness to imitate those whose whole lives have already been well lived for Him (Heb. 13:7; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Cor. 4:16).