Today we stand at the edge of our children’s future. Many of us spend time looking back over our lives. Some of us spend time musing at the prospect of our lives in the years to come. In either case, all of us have the responsibility to know the past so we can hope for the future. I find it strenuous to adequately express the sense of failure in my own life for slothfully letting someone else interpret the past for me and believing another man’s view of the future. The trendy scheme of “we know what is best for you” by a despotic governing body has come to a stop in my life. I cannot tell you all the reasons for the change in my life, but certainly becoming a Christian after being an agnostic for the early years of my life had the most to do with my awakening. It was not until I pondered the serious side of the reality of temporal and eternal life that I got serious about where I had been and where I would be going.
About 40 years ago a sweet Southern lady named Glen Thompson Gordy wrote a little book entitled Come Walk With Me. It was a history of her life and family. Since I was her cousin I bought her book out of curiosity. Until I read that book I never knew that my mother’s folks came from South Carolina and settled in Greene County Alabama. I never knew that my great grandfather fought for Southern independence. It gave me a glimpse of the past that renewed my hope for the future.
I hope you will consider a few lines from a poem taken from the book I just mentioned. It is a poem written my Mrs. Mary Ruth Briggs. The title of the poem is “I Ask Myself.”
If you knew your days were numbered,
If you thought your end was drawing near,
Could you look back over your life with pride?
Or would you look ahead with fear?
Let me pause and say that I am not quoting this poem for reasons of sentimentality, but to cause us to think. Mrs. Briggs continues: “What special contribution have you made to improve the way of life on earth?”
We cannot improve our way of life if we do not know how to live. I fear that many today do not know how to live.