No. 1010



To be sure, there is a whole lot of meanness taking place in our country today, and even more so in other parts of the world. But in spite of all of this, it is still a beautiful world and we have the opportunity to do good for people while we are here, because someday it will be too late. The truth is, we only have one life to live. We can make the most of it, or we can squander our days until they are all gone.
The other day I was riding along in my 2003 Honda Element and got to thinking (as I always do). I said to myself, “When men retire, many look forward to being able to go fishing every day, others to playing golf and still others, like me, who enjoy being involved in community service.”
I have been blessed to be able to save a little money, not much but a little, and when I go on trips to start a Bookcase for Every Child project around my state, I pay all of my own expenses. When I come to the end of my days, my only real reward will be to hear the Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” America is the greatest land in the world and all of us who are truly grateful for our heritage must work to preserve this land, otherwise someday we may lose it. What brought these thoughts to the surface are the words and music to a song written by Ronnie Gaylord in 1972 titled, “I Will Never Pass This Way Again.”
A kind reader sent these to me and I would like to share them with you in the hopes that you will ponder these words, and if not already, join the army of those of us who believe it is important to serve and help others who truly need a helping hand.
The words begin, “I will pass this way but once. If there is any good I can do, let me do it now for I will never pass this way again, I will see this day but once. If there is any kindness I can show, let me show it now, for I’ll never see this day again. Tomorrow may be too late, my friend, to do all the good that you planned.
“So reach out to those who need you, and lend them a helping hand. I will know this world but once, if there is any love that I can give, let me give it now. Oh Lord, please show me how, for I will never know this world, I’ll never see this day, I’ll never pass this way again.”
This message, of course, is a familiar and timeless one: Do the good that you can do today; tomorrow may be too late to reach out to those who need you. The song has both an echo of the tempo of soft rock and the simplicity of folk music but its roots are in the old-time spiritual. This is most obvious in the “soul” refrain: “Oh Lord, please show me how.”
In life, we seek many different kinds of rewards. Obviously, we must have food, clothes, shelter, transportation and medical care and we also have psychological needs -- to love and be loved near the top of the list. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no better feeling than knowing that we are helping others who are less fortunate. There are many ways to do this, and here in my community you would not believe the number of people involved in reaching out to others and lending a helping hand.
About a dozen years ago it came to my attention, as a syndicated newspaper columnist, that illiteracy was a major problem in our nation, with more than 42 million adults not being able to read at the fifth-grade level. Most of these people had been failed early in life by one or more adults who never taught them how to read. This is why our Bookcase for Every Child project is so critical to our nation’s future. We would love to have your help.
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)