I see that man walks in a vain shadow
and upsets himself in vain;
they are pitiful pleasures he enjoys
while he forgets You.
I am as vain, make me more wise.
O, let me see heaven
and I know I shall never envy
nor follow them.
My times are in your hands;
I am no better than my fathers,
a stranger on earth.
As I speak of them, so the next, yes,
this generation shall speak of me
as one that was.
My life is a bubble, a smoke,
a shadow, a thought;
I know it has no abiding
on this passageway.
O, let me not to be so unstable
as I travel on the way
that I forget the end.
It is that other life
that I must trust to.
With You it is
that I shall continue.
Joseph Hall, 1574 – 1656, English bishop, devotional writer and satirist
2000 Years of Prayer freely modified
Seventy years are given to us!
Some even live to eighty.
But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble;
soon they disappear, and we fly away.
Who can comprehend the power of your anger?
Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.
Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
so that we may grow in wisdom.