12 and you say, How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.
These verses remind me of the old Roy Clark song, Yesterday, When I Was Young:
So many wayward pleasures lay in store for me,
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see.
I ran so fast that time and youth, at last, ran out,
I never stopped to think what life was all about;
And ev’ry conversation I can now recall
Concerned itself with me, and nothing else at all.
I used my magic age as if it were a wand,
And never saw the waste and emptiness beyond.
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride,
And ev’ry flame I lit too quickly, quickly died;
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
And only I am left on stage to end the play.
There are so many songs in me that won’t be sung,
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue;
The time has come for me to pay for yesterday
When I was young.
The tragedy of the words spoken in these Proverbs verses and in the song is that they speak of regret that knows no hope. It is shocking to wake up to a ruined life which is the result of foolish living; it is bitter to know only regret and no redemption. Pity the blind fool who someday must face his folly. Pray that he will come to his senses while there is time to repent. Pray that he will repent and turn to the Lord who alone can redeem his soul and turn his ruin into a foundation for a meaningful life…while there is time.
If you are one now who has awaken to your folly, the time is not too late for redemption. Whether you are “at the brink of utter ruin” or the only on “left on stage to end the play,” now is not too late to turn to your Savior. You cannot go back in time to recoup what you have lost, but you can do what is even better, you can go to the Savior who will redeem what you have squandered and will turn your present and your future into true treasure. He is, after all, the Lord of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
© 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org