As we grow older, well into the sixth or seventh decade of life, one thing comes to all, the experience of life. It matters not the amount of money one has accumulated, their station in life, whether or not they were free or slaves, there is experience.
The young, those with only two or three decades of life behind them, can make attempts at the knowledge of these older individuals, but it will always escape them, for time is the only teacher here. “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” (Psalm 71:18)
All that reach this age and beyond are knowledgeable in at least a few things, but few have the wisdom within them that can only come from the Most High, and so this verse stands as true. “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Prov. 16:31) In some instances, that wisdom is imparted to the young by the Lord, and if they remain on the path, they can be most profitable for the kingdom of God, for the Lord will use them mightily, but not for all, as is clearly seen in the last years of the life of Solomon.
Those who remain on the path, as time goes on, will many times find the temptations of this world will diminish at the same rate that they seek for righteousness, the love of this world begins to disappear as the truth of it is shown to them by the Holy Spirit, and a part of that truth will indeed bring the obviousness of vanity, and the vexation of Spirit spoken of in the Book of Ecclesiastes. What these wiser, older individuals see is the repetitiveness of sameness, the same old sins done by the newest groups of people, the young following in the footsteps of those who have rebelled against the Almighty, all the time believing that they have all the answers to the questions, when they do not even fully understand the question in the first place.
History, the in-depth study of mankind, even if it is only in the experiences of this person, teaches this truth well, and with it comes the truth of those verses of vanity, only this time with our eyes and ears, and not by those same actions that we ourselves partook in our youth. The vexation of Spirit is realizing by wisdom, the folly of these individuals’ ways, warning them, and then continuing to watch them march forward towards the abyss at breakneck speed. It can break a man’s heart to watch a life wasted.
The older, wiser man of God who has devoted his meager life to the glory of God can see these truths, he can quite easily see the final horizon, and he anticipates it with joy, and although his flesh may still tremble at the thought of that last breath, he himself is ready to stand before the Lord and give his account. He knows there are those there waiting in anticipation to be reunited with him, just as sure as he knows that those he will leave behind he will soon see again.
It is those who will not listen while he is still here serving that are a burden to him, those that heard the call, but would not heed it. These men of God have never sought the limelight, nor will they accept it if it is offered to them, they only know one reward, and He waits in heaven for them. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15) To be used by the Lord God for His glory is the highest honor that a man can hope to achieve in this life, and to watch those who call themselves Christians, content with anything less is indeed vexation of Spirit.