A motorist once stopped for water at a dilapidated house in the South where a barefooted man, leaning against a rickety fence, was gazing meditatively across a field that had grown up to weeds. "How is your cotton this year?" asked the motorist. "Well, sir," replied the man, "I ain't got no cotton. I didn't plant none 'cause I was afraid the boll weevil might be bad." "How is your corn?" "Well, I didn't plant no corn neither, for I didn't know if we'd git rain," he replied. The motorist hesitated, "How are your sweet potatoes?" he asked at last, "Well, now, Stranger," the man replied, "you see, it's just this way: I didn't plant no sweet pertaters 'cause I was afraid the bugs might take them. No, sir, I didn't plant nothin' I just played safe."—Youth's Companion.
Miss Meant-To has a comrade
And her name is Didn't-Do.
Have you ever chanced to meet them
Did they ever call on you?
These two girls now live together
In the house of Never-Win,
And I'm told that it is haunted
By the ghost of Might-Have-Been.—Selected.
There is a story told of Paganinni's famous violin, which was left to his native city of Genoa on condition it should not be played upon. It was a most unfortunate policy, for as a result "this magic violin, which might have thrilled the world for hundreds of years to come.. , is becoming worm-eaten in its grand glass case, and will soon be a little bit of worthless dust."—Gospel Herald.
Sometimes we may put too much stress on the things we do, without taking into consideration that we will be judged as much by the things that we leave undone. I think it was Margaret Sangster who reminded us, "It isn't the thing you do, dear, but the thing you leave undone, that gives you a bit of a heartache, at the setting of the sun.." The kind word we might have spoken, the letter we might have written, the friendly deed that would have helped another over a rough place; all these undone things are apt to make us miserable and at the same time rob others of that which would have meant so much to them.
We must bear in mind the Master's condemnation, "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me." (Matt. 25:45).
On the other hand, how sweet it is to know what He also said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me" (Matt. 25:40). What a delightful thought to know that every kind deed we do for any of Christ's brethren is in His sight as if we did it unto Him. How it should encourage us in helping others. And how it saddens us to know that the things we failed to do for others we failed to do for Him.
If all our good intentions were put into practice, how much happier and better this world would be. If all the kind words we say about people after they have left this world were only said while they were here, how it would have brightened their pathway and sweetened life for them.
A pathetic incident was related in the papers recently concerning a man who was found dead in a gas filled room. He had become despondent because he could not get work and was behind in his room rent. A letter unopened outside his door contained a gift of money, which if it had arrived sooner might have given him encouragement to live. "Do It Now" is a good motto to keep in mind provided the thing we are contemplating is right; for very often if we do not do it at once we may not do it at all. The old saying, "Strike while the iron is hot" is another good motto, for if the iron is allowed to cool, the striking is of no effect.
Someone has defined "Duty" as doing a thing when it ought to be done. I know a lad who left home to go out into the world. He was a good lad and fond of his mother, but he grew careless about writing. He moved without letting his family know his address, then one day his conscience began to bother him, so he sat down and wrote to his mother. Alas, the letter came too late, for his mother had gone to her Heavenly Home a short time before it arrived!
It would be a good thing if we prayed each morning for strength and guidance so that we would leave nothing undone that we ought to do, nor do that which is grievous to our Lord.—Gospel Herald.
"If with pleasure you are viewing,
Any work a man is doing;
If you like him, or you love him,
Tell him now!
Don't withhold your approbation,
Till the parson makes oration,
And he lies with snowy lilies o'er his brow.
For no matter how you shout it,
He won't really care about it,
He won't know how many teardrops you have shed,
If you think some praise is due him,
Now's the time to ease it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead!
"More than fame and more than money.
Is the comment kind and sunny,
And the hearty warm approval of a friend,
For it gives to life a savour,
And it makes you truer, braver,
And it gives you hope and courage 'til the end.
If he earns your praise bestow it,
If you love him let him know it,
Let the words of true encouragement be said,
Do not wait 'til life is over.
And he is underneath the clover,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead!"—Selected.