What Road Will You Take?


Our Pastor, Rev. Janice west, spoke to us this morning regarding the variables that occur dependent upon our choices though our life.  How different each of our lives would be if we had gone left on the path of life rather than right.

The classic Christmas movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ depicts clearly the impact each of our lives have on those we encounter…even if we do not realize it.  In the movie George Bailey, after encountering the reseting of his dreams of education and travel to rather stay in Bedford Falls and support his Father’s life’s work of the Bedford Savings and Loan and later encountering financial catastrophe…contrived by the town’s richest and most evil man, Mr. Potter.  George ultimately tells his guardian angel, Clarence, that he wished that he had never been born.  He gets his wish and the collateral results on the town and his friends and even his wife are devastating.

So often our lives, although short, are full of mystery.  Often the choices that we make are far removed from what our original mental GPS had illustrated so clearly.

The novel, ‘4 3 2 1,’  by Paul Auster is the story of Archibald Issac Ferguson and the four different paths that his life takes.  In other words four different Archibald Issac Ferguson’s simultaneously.

I can easily remember my feelings when Mary Jane suggested that I take the Building Service Worker I Civil Service exam at Southern Illinois University.  She holding a teaching certificate and a Bachelor’s Degree from SIU and I a janitor.

Yet I did take her advice…and it resulted in a wonderful career at the University…and an opportunity to help people…which was my passion.

I began as a Fundamentalist Christian.  I received a great bedrock christian training that is part of my character.  Yet, colleagues of Mary Jane asked her to visit with them at their church, First Presbyterian in Carbondale.  I loved it from the first time that I attended…and it has changed my christian life.  That was nearly twenty years ago.

A dear friend of mine told me recently how much that I was missed at the University and that I had made a difference in peoples lives…I am sure I am not worthy of such lovely sentiments…but indeed it was my desire for the people that I associated with to receive the great gift of opportunity that I received from the path of Southern Illinois University.

img_0435dscn5486‘Don’t You Quit’

‘When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit-Rest if your must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a fellow turns about when he might have won had he stuck it out.  Don’t give up though the pace seems slow-you may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man; Often the struggler has given up when he might have captured the victor’s cup;  And he learned to late when the night came down, How close he was to the victor’s crown.

Success is failure turned inside out-

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close your are, It may be near when it seems afar; So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.’


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