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South Texas Living

That final journey

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August 10, 2016 | 1,036 views | Post a comment

An African proverb states, “If you want to go fast -- go alone; if you want to go far -- go together.” I am always amazed when I see geese flying together in formation. Each one takes a turn in the front of the V formation. The entire flock shares the burden of leadership and when they’re not leading, they are honking their support for the one that is.They may not fly as fast this way, but they certainly fly farther.

We can’t do this thing called life solo. We need each other for the long journey. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

Something I rarely do is dedicate one of my columns, but I want to lift up all those who take the time to set life aside to be close to a loved one and share their final journey of life upon this earth. My sister continues down that road of terminal brain cancer, and I want to salute my brother Art and my sister’s closest friend Earl, for being with her and seeing that her every need is met to the best of anybody’s ability. My brother’s greatest fear is her thoughts throughout the nighttime hours, not wanting her to be crying alone.

[1 Peter 3:8-14] When all the world seems to forsake you, And there’s chaos in all your affairs; When you’re blue, disappointed and lonely, Of one thing be certain ... God Cares! When your plans and your dreams come to nothing, And your troubles show up in pairs, That’s the time to use your last ounce of faith, And remember that always ... God Cares! We don’t know the “why” and the “wherefore” For the pain and sorrow one bears; But we do know this beyond doubting, We are not forgotten ... God Cares!

Back in his high school days, Jack had some friends who convinced him to be a monitoring judge for a road rally. There was a course set throughout the county for contestants to decipher clues and then drive down certain roads, ending up back at a designated place. The judges were strategically placed in secret spots recording cars which were in the rally as to the time they actually passed by them. This was set up into a points system from which the winners would be determined.

When the rally day came, Jack was driven to his spot, which was a very remote road in the county. He was tucked away in a wooded area and was told to watch every car that drove by between certain times and simply record it on the official score pad. Jack was given final instructions to be very vigilant. It seemed easy enough. The problem was that the cars that drove by that day on that lonely country road were few and far between.

Due to that, Jack became very bored and began to become distracted. He could hear squirrels rustling in the leaves behind him and noticed the sounds of birds piercing through the silence. Jack surmised that if he went and did a little exploring in the woods, he would still be able to hear the sound of vehicles coming from a distance and would have time to make it back to his post to record them going by. So Jack temporarily abandoned his duty to check out the fascinating world of the woods.

When Jack was picked up and taken to the rally finish spot, the chief judge was taken aback by his nearly empty score sheet. After his inquiry as to why Jack’s page was virtually blank, he had to “fess up.” Apparently Jack had become so engrossed with the flora and fauna that he missed several cars going by. They had no recourse but to ignore Jack’s section of the contest. He was thoroughly embarrassed.

Has the world distracted your spirit and rendered your life’s journey -- judged to be ignored?

Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at Find his column on his blog at

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