An article written by my father, the Rev. C. Thomas Paige, as it appeared in the Tri-State Defender on the date shown.
Never before in the history of man has time been such a basic factor! The rising tide of decision is on us as never before. The day has come for men to be men. At all points, men must call upon the moral and spiritual fortitude to be the best of which they are capable. The day has come for all men in all areas of human behavior to rise up and be the best of which they are capable.
At this point, men must examine themselves and discover their greatest capabilities. What is in the hand of each man must now be more meaningful than ever before. Years ago, a tired group of people following Jesus finally arrived at the point where food was the order of the day. Upon searching around, it was discovered that a young boy had a lunch of five fishes and two loaves of bread. This boy was unmindful of the great destiny which he held in his hands, but time proved him a hero. Today, men in all walks of life – in all stages of life – must realize that they have a contribution to make to the well-being of the world.
Each man is so designed that, consciously or unconsciously, he can make a contribution to a better world order. This can only be realized when we as men stand up for that which is best for all men. Whether we occupy a place of low estate or relative importance, we must place an importance on our station that, through our contacts and the like, will enable us to do only that which is best for all concerned. In spite of the unpopularity of doing that which is right, we must fortify ourselves to the point that, at every opportunity, we must show our real worth.
One of the great tragedies of our day is wrapped up in the fact that many people who are in a position to make a real contribution to their day and time fail to live up to their greatest potentialities. In this chapter we find that this young man who had the food for the occasion made no excuses for giving up his belongings. Contrary to his action, there are countless hundreds of men who are owners of things that will greatly help world conditions today but fail to release these things because of what the public might have to say about them.
Each one of us is so created that somewhere along life’s highway, we can and must make a contribution for bettering the world’s conditions. We may not have fishes and loves but we do have something to feed a hungering world. All about us today are people who are hungry and, in many instances, have need of just what we have to offer. Many times thru this life it takes only a kind word to set something aright. Sometimes it takes only a light pat on the back. Sometimes it takes only a smile. But whatever our fishes and loaves might be, we should be willing to share what we have to make the world a better place in which to live.
Today we live in a world when our welfare must not be our only concern. Contrary to popular belief, we must do that which is most beneficial to most people. Once again, we must become “caused-minded.” The selfishness which is so characteristic of so many people people today must be dispelled. In the spirit of Jesus, who stated “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly!” each of us must dedicate ourselves to a cause that is bigger and far more meaningful than ourselves.
Somewhere in the crowded lives of our times are those who have the five fishes and two loaves that will quench the hunger of our world. Who knows that you don’t have these? Who knows that in this world of confusion each of us might give up something dear to ourselves for the cause of all of those about us? The occasion comes to all of us at some point in our lives. Around each of us each day comes an opportunity to live a life that will be of great benefit to those about us. Let us rise up to the great need of our day!