1Be generous: Invest in acts of charity.
Charity yields high returns.
2Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around.
Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.
3-4When the clouds are full of water, it rains.
When the wind blows down a tree, it lies where it falls.
Don’t sit there watching the wind. Do your own work.
Don’t stare at the clouds. Get on with your life.
5Just as you’ll never understand
the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman,
So you’ll never understand
the mystery at work in all that God does.
6Go to work in the morning
and stick to it until evening without watching the clock.
You never know from moment to moment
how your work will turn out in the end.
Before the Years Take Their Toll
7-8Oh, how sweet the light of day,
And how wonderful to live in the sunshine!
Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted.
Take delight in each light-filled hour,
Remembering that there will also be many dark days
And that most of what comes your way is smoke.
9You who are young, make the most of your youth.
Relish your youthful vigor.
Follow the impulses of your heart.
If something looks good to you, pursue it.
But know also that not just anything goes;
You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.
10Live footloose and fancy-free—
You won’t be young forever.
Youth lasts about as long as smoke.
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1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 Eugene H. Peterson by NavPress Publishing