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  • Allen Domelle

The Burden of the Grasshopper

Ecclesiastes 12:5

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Solomon is an old man. He is looking at his whole life at where he started to what he had become, and he realizes that the older he got, many things were not the same. As he talks about old age, he makes one statement that seems a bit strange. He says, and the grasshopper shall be a burden. How can a little grasshopper be a burden. Let me explain.

Whenever you get close to a grasshopper, you will find that it jumps away. In other words, the grasshopper doesn't have the nerves of steel. The grasshopper quickly jumps when one tries to get close. The grasshopper can’t handle the little child trying to pick it up to look at it with wonder. Instead, the grasshopper quickly jumps away from the little child who wants to pick up look at it because it cannot handle the presence of the one who is near it. Now, the danger for the grasshopper is that if that child grabs its legs and the grasshopper jumps, it will likely lose one of its legs and fatally hurt itself.

Now let me apply this to the life of the seasoned older person. The grasshopper being a burden is simply saying that you don't have the nerves you once had to be able to handle the load you once used to carry. One of the great dangers of getting elderly is that you become jumpy at most everything in life, and you can become edgy with your responses to people because they easily get on your nerves. Let me share a few thoughts about the grasshopper being a burden.

First, stay away from things that cause you to become nervous. Elderly people often watch a lot of news, and news often reports the politicians who prey on the elderly and say that a political party will take their money if they get into office. Now, they have been saying this for years, and it has never happened and likely will never happen. God will still take care of you if it happens. Stay away from conspiracy theories that prey on you. Most, if not all conspiracy theories are just that, they are a theory. Don't be easily shaken by the fear-mongering news, but remember that God is in control.

Second, be careful about becoming short-tempered with little ones running around. I know your nerves are not like they used to be with little children running and doing child activities, but don't be grumpy or scolding to children because you think you have a right. For thousands of years, children have always done things on the edge and made it through many bloodied or scraped knees. Ask God to give you grace for your nerves when you happen to be around many children.

Let me address the younger generation and say that you need to be patient with the older generation who are as jumpy as a grasshopper. They need your security and not your scolding. They need to know that you love them and want to be with them. You see, one day you will get old, and it will be you that the grasshopper becomes a burden to. So, treat the elderly with the respect and with the patience you will want people to treat you with when you become older because life has a way of coming back around and treating you the way you have treated others.


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