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Along Twin Ponds Road

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By Ray Willis

Watching the movie “Annapolis” a second time a few nights ago reminded me of what I believe is a fundamental truth one must digest in order to find hope, happiness and thanksgiving in one’s life.

Jake Huard, the main character in the movie, is a young man recently out of high school and working at a shipyard in Baltimore.  He receives an appointment to Annapolis, the naval academy, shortly after the academic year had begun because others in their first year there had just dropped out.

Until this time in Jake’s life he has not possessed confidence nor much positive self esteem.  He lives with a father who doesn’t feel that Jake has what it takes in order to be successful in life.

At the academy, as throughout Jake’s young life to this point, he sets out to achieve success by himself, alone.  It doesn’t take him long to realize that he needs others in order to complete his first or plebe year at Annapolis.  Jake befriends a roommate who needs him just as much.  Both had been already deemed losers by fellow classmates.

Jake used his skills at boxing in order to obtain success and to ease the pressures at the naval academy.  He went on to become a finalist at the brigade championship.  Jake’s classmates, in turn, helped him by assisting with academic or social skills that he lacked in some areas.  In the end, Jake and the classmates around him assisted one another enough so that they all could succeed in getting through that tough first year at Annapolis, (or any of this nation’s service academies, for that matter).

Yesterday I read a devotional passage that stressed the same theme that Annapolis did.  It was about a college softball player, Sara, who had just hit the first home run of her life.  However, in rounding first base had missed tagging the bag. When she turned to go back and touch it she hurt her knee and couldn’t get up to touch the other bases.  By rules she had to touch all four bases for the home run to count.  The first baseman for the opposing team asked the umpires if they could carry her around.   The umpires consented so the opposing team made a chair of their hands and carried Sara around the bases.  It was a glorious moment for both teams.

We all need one another in this life if we are to attain our own peace, happiness or success.  None of his need feel useless as long as we are able to help ease another’s burdens.

Charles Dickens was credited with saying, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”  (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).

I hope that you all have reason enough in your lives to truly feel thankfulness or gratefulness to be alive and that you have learned by now that you possess at least one quality or talent that you can pass on or share to help ease another’s burden.

I have been blessed with a wonderful, loyal wife, Judy.  I am also fortunate to have a relationship with her two sons, Ward and Scott.  They are hard working and devoted fathers and husbands, and I am proud of them.

When I first started walking along Twin Ponds Road almost 3 years ago I used to think daily of how much I would love to share my thoughts and gratefulness to the Lord with others on a weekly basis.  I went to the owner of another Gadsden County newspaper and presented him with the idea.  However, it was Angye Morrison, our esteemed editor of the Gadsden County Times, who provided me with this wonderful opportunity to write the weekly column that I do.  What is even more gratifying is that she called me with the offer.  Thank you, Angye, and thank you, dear readers.

God bless all of you.

E-mail your comments and questions to me at coot5864@hotmail.com.