Ecclesiastes 7:1-2 A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.
It would seem that Solomon has lost his mind. Seriously? Death is better than birth? I remember when my two children were born and it was an amazing moment in my life. I remember vividly how it impacted me. It seemed as if all of the earth stood still and I wept in both joy and with slight fear. I have since started to have dreams and aspirations for them. I don’t want them to live in my shadow, rather I dream that they will live their life to the fullest and do what God has purposed them to do. I want to walk my baby girl down the aisle and watch my boy marry the girl of his dreams. Yet wouldn’t it be a tragedy if I died before any of that happened? Not according to Solomon. Solomon is pointing out that death for every believer is not the end rather it is the beginning.
I believe it is crucial for us to consider death, because it will cause a lot of introspection. No one contemplates the state of their soul or relationship with God at a party or when life is going good, but find me at a funeral and I will be doing a lot of soul examination.
What I begin to find in my time of introspection is that things do not matter. I know that sounds like a churchy cliché, but it’s true. In fact, I long for the day when I’m not worried about my image. My earnest prayer is that I will live a life fully abandoned to the Christ and follow him. I want to be known by God and live life to the fullest for His kingdom. I want to be more generous. I don’t want to be famous or build an empire I just want Jesus. Yet it’s not that I want Jesus, He is my only option. I want to echo what Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, and that I may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Although introspection can be painful, I would highly recommend it. There is this refrain in the Bible that says, pay attention to your heart more than you are paying attention to the external parts of your body. Because all that matters in the end is the posture of your heart, not how good you look.
Are you more concerned with how you appear externally than you appear internally?
“We wept when we were born though all around us smiled; so shall we smile when we die while all around us weep.” – Charles Spurgeon