None of us are getting any younger. Each moment moves us forward towards that last, the most personal of all moments, when we go on alone to meet our Maker. I feel this more now than ever before. An older mentor in ministry once told me, everything worked fine in his body until he reached 45; then everything began to malfunction. This testimony is true.

I recently purchased an anthology of the best 500 poems in the English Language. One of my New Years' resolutions is to read a poem every day. I love reading poetry: They take me to a place that is better felt than felt, where the heart has a reason that reason cannot know. Today's thought came from Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare. It captures these sentiments rather well, particularly for the unbeliever who must march on bravely to meet his dotage (and what lies beyond) without any real substantive hope.

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
— That time of year thou mayst in me behold (Sonnet 73), William Shakespeare

For the Christian, however, what lies beyond is the front door of the Father's house. At the last, when our trembling, expectant hand reaches up to knock it, we will have no more work left on earth to do for the Master. The day of opportunity will have come to an end. We will move on to our rest. May it be a rest well won, after a life well-loved.

In the meantime then let us press on to remember our Creator in the days of our youth. Let us keep our hearts and our minds focused on Christ. So that when He returns (or calls us home), we can run forth to meet him with all the joy of dogs running out of their house to meet their master. Eyes bright. Ears up. Tails wagging. Hearts dancing. Forever home.