Start Early- This is very practical look at our life. He talks about investing for the future.
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. 2 Give portions to sever, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. 3 If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. ~Ecclesiastes 11:1-3
He talked about investing wisely. We should be living on 80% of our income, saving 10% and giving 10% back to the Lord.
Stay Diligent- Establish a mind set for working consistently all your life. God worked for six days and rested on the seventh.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. ~Ecclesiastes 11:4
Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will success whether this or that , or whether both will do equally well. ~Ecclesiastes 11:6
This I know being lazy and procrastinating till the point that nothing gets done is definitely not a thing of God. In order for his blessings to manifest in our lives we have to take action. Wishing and hoping for something to happen without putting some effort into it will only leave us with wishes and hopes. Even in retirement (which at my young age I would love to do tomorrow LOL) we should be working on something.
Be Joyful- Live in the precious present.
Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgement 10 So then,banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
This one has always been difficult for me because not only am I a person who likes to plan things out in anticipation but I also like to fix my problems. Living in the present means not worrying too much about those things. I believe that planning is okay as long as I know that God may have a totally different plan to make a choice to follow God's plan and not my own when it is revealed to me. Putting all my cares for tomorrow to God is really what this is about.
We should enjoy every stage of our lives. When we are young we should not wish to grow older and when we are older we should learn how to live a full Christian life.
Think Eternally- Aging is inevitable but the best it yet to be.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say "I find no pleasure in them"-- 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; ~Ecclesiastes 12:1-3
Okay, so if Bob Russell did not break this down and the rest of the chapter, I would not have even looked for the metaphors. Basically, he is describing the aging process. For example the last part refers to teeth (grinders) and eyes (windows).
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement whether it is good or evil. ~ Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
This verse alone deserves its own post click here to read it. Basically, in the end it will be you and God and he will judge us from the roota to da toota , nothing will be missed. That is a lot of stuff in our life to account for. It would be really good if we have more good than bad.