The fountain of youth, eternal life, has been the subject of more books, poems, songs and movies than one can imagine. Explorers spent years at sea on dangerous expeditions looking for it. Indiana Jones and others risked everything to find it. I’m reading Michio Kaku’s book, “Physics of the Future.” He claims the life expectancy will be well over 100 by 2040 or so. Ray Kurzweil in his “Age of the Spiritual Machine” thinks all natural causes of death will be eliminated in the next 20 years and says we all should take care of ourselves so that we’ll “live long enough to live forever.” One of my favorite cartoons is Calvin & Hobbs. In one strip, Calvin is talking to Hobbs and says, “God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things in my life. Right now I’m so far behind I’ll never die!”

The scriptures give us a particular instruction that one could follow that is to result in a long and prosperous life. Paul says this is the first commandment to which a promise is attached. It’s in Ephesians 6:2-3, “Honor your father and mother, this is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Paul is quoting from Exodus 20:12, “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Under the Old Testament economy obedient children did live longer, but this is not a promise for long life as much as it is for a complete, satisfying and meaningful life.

My sons should be extremely happy and satisfied after this father’s day. I feel very honored to have had them both with me for dinner and to receive all the great gifts (including my new grill – see picture at expressions of love and honor from them and the grandsons. My heart is so full of gratitude for them all that I’d do anything within my power for them. I can’t help but think that this is how God feels toward children, at any age, who honor their parents.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12