It gets its start in a mist and ends up in the dark - unnamed.
It sees nothing and knows nothing, but is better off by far than anyone living.
Even if someone lived a thousand years - make it two thousand! - but didn't enjoy anything, what's the point? Doesn't everyone end up in the same place?
We work to feed our appetites; Meanwhile our souls go hungry.
So what advantage has a sage over a fool, or over some poor wretch who barely gets by?
Just grab whatever you can while you can; don't assume something better might turn up by and by. All it amounts to anyway is smoke. And spitting into the wind.
Whatever happens, happens. Its destiny is fixed. You can't argue with fate.
The more words that are spoken, the more smoke there is in the air. And who is any better off?
And who knows what's best for us as we live out our meager smoke-and-shadow lives? And who can tell any of us the next chapter of our lives?
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)