Lord, let everyone hear,
let all who live in this world pay attention,
both low and high,
rich and poor alike,
when I speak your words of wisdom;
when from my heart I relay your message.
Turn my ears to your wisdom;
Turn my songs into true psalms from you.
Teach me (again) not to fear when evil days come,
when naysayers surround me,
when mistrust and arrogance—
mine or someone else’s—
seem to confuse everything.
You have redeemed me, O Lord,
the only One who could give a ransom for me—
and so costly, no gift of gratitude could ever be enough,
even if I should live forever
and try to repay you every day.
Everyone can see that the wisest men die;
the foolish and the senseless alike perish
and leave their wealth to others.
The rich leave their opulent houses,
and take up residence in eternity,
though they had buildings and institutions
named after themselves.
Likewise, my best and most passionate efforts today
will pass away, like so many moths in a flame.
So let me not trust in myself,
and get worked up over the approval or disapproval of men.
Those around me are destined for the grave just like me.
But though my efforts will perish,
your works—through me, as well as others—
and you will redeem my life and take me to yourself
whether I succeed or fail.
I belong to you
even if all my plans and hopes and dreams
come to naught.
Remind me that my times are in your hands:
the timing of my plenty or scarcity,
the timing of my success or failure,
the timing of who follows and who leaves,
the timing of my own coming or going,
in Jesus’ name, amen.