How, then, shall I spend this short life?

("Solitude Sweetened" by James Meikle, 1730-1799)

"What is your life? You are a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away!" (James 4:14)

What is all this struggle in the world for? Why so many attempts to be something, and have something — in the sphere of nothing?

This struggle for passing vanities, is as if the foam and bubbles should contend for station on the rapid stream — but in a moment they are are gone!

We forget that we are but of yesterday — and tomorrow we are no more. It is a shame to think so much about these few fleeting days — and so little of endless ages of eternity!

Let me look to the generations past. How few of our deceased acquaintances are remembered! And how soon, like them, shall we also be forgotten!

How frail is our life! It is likened to a pile of grass, a withered leaf, dry stubble, a flower, a breath, brittle clay, fading flesh!

How swift is our life! It is likened to a weaver's shuttle, an eagle, a ship, a wind that passes away, and comes not again!

How short is our life! It is likened to a moment, a breath!

Surely I need not be so anxious about . . .
  a life so short,
  a state so uncertain,
  and a world so vain
 — where I am only a stranger, a pilgrim, a sojourner — and shortly leaving everything below.

Let the world, then, go with me as it will. This shall not trouble me, who am daily going through the world, and shall in a little while — go entirely out of the world, to return no more!

How, then, shall I spend this short life, my few winged moments, which are all appointed to me? Surely, in nothing better, than in looking out, and laying up for eternity!

"This world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever." 1 John 2:17

"Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away!" 1 Corinthians 7:31

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom!" Psalm 90:12

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things!" Colossians 3:2

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!" 2 Corinthians 4:18