As vapor appears, and then fades from our sight,
Or flowers that bloom, and then wither at night;
The life that we live has no sooner begun,
But that it is ending, and soon will be done.
As all of my fathers have lived and then died;
It soon will be me who is crossing the tide.
From one generation and unto the next,
The circle goes on, and it leaves us perplexed.
This empty experience knocks on my door
And seems to me saying there has to be more,
But where am I going, and why am I here?
This emptiness causes continual fear;
I need something certain that never will fade;
For after the image of God I was made.
I need something lasting; I need something whole—
Eternity, that is the need of my soul.
The duty of man is to honor the Lord,
And living for Him has abundant reward.
Almighty Jehovah, the King of all kings,
Has made us to need his all-sheltering wings.
His promise of life is my hope and my plea,
And unto the cross of my Saviour I flee,
For knowing and loving the Saviour of men
Is giving me purpose in living again.
~Ezra Brainard, 12-2011