I awaken early this morning just to relieve myself. Then I got back in bed, but I had let my mind wander. I had considered thoughts of death, and I had grown afraid. Fear is not conducive to sleep. So, I got up, disgusted with myself and my pointless fear.
The fear old men have of death is age old. There is nothing new under the sun. So said King Solomon in Ecclesiastes.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 is the origin of what has become a common proverb, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” The verse reads like this: “What has been will be again, / what has been done will be done again; / there is nothing new under the sun.” As a modern idiom, “there’s nothing new under the sun” is often used as a world-weary complaint against life’s monotony. When Solomon wrote the statement, he was emphasizing the cyclic nature of human life on earth and the emptiness of living only for the “rat race.” (from here)
What do I do when I am afraid? I remember there is no fear in perfect love.
1 John 4:15-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us.
How do we learn to love? Our model is the love between a man and a woman united in holy matrimony (Ephesians 5:22-33). Yet as strange as it may seem, the world opposes this idea.
A couple of days ago we celebrated Valentine’s Day. So there are still Valentine’s Day blog posts front and center on the Internet. Hence, I read The question…would St. Valentine still give his life today? (cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com), and I contemplated what we know about Saint Valentine. Herein Julie (aka Cookie) reposted a fierce defense of marriage, Would Saint Valentine Be A Christian Martyr For Marriage Again Today? by Stella Morabito at The Federalist. Here I learned that St. Valentine broke the law by marrying Christian couples.
Curious, I did a bit more research.
Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.
To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.
When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270. (from here (history.com))
Our memories and our lives are short. Much of Valentine’s story has been lost in the past. Therefore, it seems like we are engaged in completely new adventures, sexual adventures for those who adore the gods of the LGBTQ. Yet the Roman Empire once adored and celebrated such wanton sex, and now that empire is gone. We barely remember how men like Saint Valentine gave their lives teaching and living God’s Word.
Is anything new? Is happily consuming too much chocolate truly a revolutionary milestone, or is it just an exercise in gluttony when we eat too much?
Have we once again come full circle, once again foolishly denying the commands of our Creator? I know this much for certain. The only way an old man can find relief for his fears is in the love of his Creator.