I'm determined to watch steps and tongue so they won't land me in trouble. I decided to hold my tongue as long as Wicked is in the room.
"Mum's the word," I said, and kept quiet. But the longer I kept silence The worse it got -
my insides got hotter and hotter. My thoughts boiled over; I spilled my guts.
"Tell me, what's going on, God? How long do I have to live? Give me the bad news!
You've kept me on pretty short rations; my life is string too short to be saved.
Oh! we're all puffs of air. Oh! we're all shadows in a campfire. Oh! we're just spit in the wind. We make our pile, and then we leave it.
"What am I doing in the meantime, Lord? Hoping, that's what I'm doing - hoping
You'll save me from a rebel life, save me from the contempt of dunces.
I'll say no more, I'll shut my mouth, since you, Lord, are behind all this.
But I can't take it much longer. When you put us through the fire
to purge us from our sin, our dearest idols go up in smoke. Are we also nothing but smoke?
"Ah, God, listen to my prayer, my cry - open your ears. Don't be callous; just look at these tears of mine. I'm a stranger here. I don't know my way - a migrant like my whole family.
Give me a break, cut me some slack before it's too late and I'm out of here."
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)