No. 240



The other day I ran across a statement written by the English novelist James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937) that really gave me something to think about. He said, The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.

In my earlier years I spent a good deal of time as a businessman working with students in our nations public schools. It was my privilege to be an invited guest who attempted to share with them what life would be like when they left the structured environment of school and a classroom.

This turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life as I had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of countless young people. With few exceptions, I saw in the eyes and faces of these young people the hopes and expectations of a great life and a great career. As you may know however, in the past couple of decades many things have changed in our schools because of drugs, guns, violence, the decline in morality and the lack of respect for authority. Please dont misunderstand me, as Ive said before, I dont believe in throwing the baby out with the bath water because there are still, as I call them, Islands of Hope where schools and teachers are doing an outstanding job.

In fact, I just received a whole package of letters from 6th grade students in the mail yesterday and if I can secure the teachers permission, Im going to do a column about what they said in the near future. As I think about James Barries statement, I feel that what he said was true for most people but it does not have to be for those of us who are willing to build our life on a solid foundation. You may be familiar with the story in the Bible about two men who built a house. One man built his house on a solid foundation and when the rains and the flood came, and the wind blew, afterwards it was still standing. The other man built his house on sand and when the rains and the flood came, and the wind blew..and as the Bible says, great was the fall of it.

As a Christian, I am not ashamed to say that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For most of my life I was building on Sand and was like a reed blowing in the wind, but when I began to build on truth, honesty, decency, respect for others and hard work, things got much better for me. I still have problems but I am now better equipped to deal with them.

What I have just shared is very personal and its something that we must each decide for ourselves. I will never attempt to tell you what to think or what to believe because those are your decisions to make in life. However, I feel honored to be able to share with you what has worked best for me. One thing for sure: it is important what kind of foundation we build our life on. Will it be the solid rock of truth or will it be sand?

On an unrelated matter, if you will indulge me, I would like to take a moment to tie up a couple of loose ends before I leave you. First, I would like to apologize to the reader who was upset with me about a previous column where I referred to a former pastor as an accident waiting to happen. I meant no disrespect and was simply using his tragedy as a way to introduce a story. In retrospect, I should not have done it, I was wrong and Im truly sorry. Next, an apology to Shirley Goff for getting her name wrong in a previous column. She and her husband Dean are faithful readers of the Hot Springs Sentinel Record. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)