18 May, 2011

The Last Mile of the Way

I was just getting ready to shut it down for the night and go to bed when I found myself sitting and thinking about my youth, sitting in church... and I got to thinking about some of the wonderful folks that I have been blessed to have been raised around. They left such a wonderful heritage for me and so many others. I did not always appreciate them the way I should have back then, but the older I get, I find myself so thankful for the things they taught me by precept and example. Folks in the old East Alton-Bethalto Church of God who showed me how to serve God, by walking it out before me. I find myself loving them now, years after their deaths than I did back in those days. As I was siting here thinking, I remember so vividly Bertha Wallace and Gene Cox singing a song in that old Pence Avenue Church... I swear I can see and hear them right now... singing, "The Last Mile of the Way."
Neither of them were trained musicians or singers, but, oh my, when these "old timers" sang it, ... well, like I said, I can hear it in my head right now, and that had to be about 1972.

I thank God for my heritage. And I thank God that He allows me to hold those memories so clearly that I can here them as they sing...

    If I walk in the pathway of duty,
    If I work till the close of the day,
    I shall see the great King in His beauty,
    When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

        When I’ve gone the last mile of the way,
        I will rest at the close of the day;
        And I know there are joys that await me,
        When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

    If for Christ I proclaim the glad story,
    If I seek for His sheep gone astray,
    I am sure He will show me His glory,
    When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

    Here the dearest of ties we must sever,
    Tears of sorrow are seen every day;
    But no sickness, no sighing forever,
    When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

    And if here I have earnestly striven,
    And have tried all His will to obey,
    ’Twill enhance all the rapture of heaven,
    When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

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