Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair?
There is an old song that asks the musical question, “Have I stayed too long at the fair?” The idea is that life is losing its luster, perhaps because we’ve overstayed our welcome, or expected things it failed to deliver. It is the song of someone older who is looking back at his youth with disappointment. “I wanted to live in a carnival city with laughter and love everywhere. I wanted my friends to be charming and witty, I wanted someone to care. I found my blue ribbons all shiny and new, but now I’ve discovered them no longer blue. The merry-go-round is beginning to taunt me—have I stayed too long at the fair? There’s nothing to win and no one to want me...have I stayed too long at the fair?”
If we buy into this world’s system of priorities, eventually everything we’ve chased will disappoint us. Unless we’re living for God in Christ, we will reach old age and say, “It’s all meaningless. I’ve stayed too long at the fair.” This happened to Solomon, or “Solo-Man” as I’ve called him. At the end of his life, he cut to the chase and said, “I’ve had it all—and none of it amounted to much.” He pursued love, riches, knowledge, religion and power. He attained a measure of success in all of them, but none satisfied.
Far too many of us could say with Solomon, “I’ve stayed too long at the fair.” Maybe you’ve bought into the world’s system, and all you have to show for your efforts today are depression, despondency, broken relationships and broken dreams. But for the man or woman who has spent a lifetime pursuing Jesus Christ, every day is sweeter than the day before. My friend Jane Elder, who pursued Him for 90 years, never sang “I’ve stayed too long at the fair.” Jane’s favorite song was “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.” What about you? Which song would you rather sing in the twilight of life?
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments.
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE
2 Chronicles 18; Jeremiah 19-22