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I want you to return with me to the year 1958. My favorite television show was The Lone Ranger. I would get so caught up in that show that I would wear my two six shooters everywhere I went. My mother was uncompromising when she refused to let me wear my guns to church. My father was a Presbyterian minister and I tried to explain that my guns would protect everyone at church. I knew how the devil liked to mess around with church folk and I was aiming to gun him down on site. My argument failed to persuade mom. She didnâ€™t know it, but with my own money I went to the Ben Franklin five and dime store, bought a small derringer cap gun and kept it in my pocket. I didnâ€™t get to wear a mask either. Mom said everybody already knew who I was and so there was no use hiding my face. That later changed when Walt Disney aired â€śZorroâ€ť starring Guy Williams on TV the following year. Mom even helped me paint a fake mustache on with her eyebrow pencil. Iâ€™ll have more on Zorro in another column. Back to The Lone Ranger. I had the privilege of interviewing Clayton Moore, the actor who portrayed the man behind the mask and he never broke character. Of course he knew he wasnâ€™t really The Lone Ranger but he believed in what the character stood for: honesty, decency, integrity, and always doing the right thing. Shortly before he died, Clayton Moore demonstrated one last time the kind of person he was. While driving home from a personal appearance, Clayton and his wife Sally came upon a wrecked motorcycle by the side of the road. The rider was lying face down next to his bike. Without hesitation Clayton went for help while Sally, a retired registered nurse, took care of the cyclist.
Doing the right thing for no other reason than it is the right thing to do is very difficult for a lot of people. If there is no benefit to them then why bother. About the age of two is when I think most children begin to understand right from wrong. Maybe that understanding comes later for some but if you are reading what I am writing, you know right from wrong. Every day we have to size up a situation and decide over and over again what we are going to do. For most of us knowing right from wrong is easy. To do the right thing is hard. There are lots of times when nobody is looking and it is so easy to do what you feel like. I have been there and done that.
Letâ€™s look at the example of one of the good guys. His name is not Clayton Moore, itâ€™s Jesus Christ. He is the son of God. He is our perfect example of what a child of God should be. After he was baptized in the Jordan River he went off into the wilderness to fast and pray. It was there when he was hungry from fasting that Satan came to him. Jesus resisted Satan three times. At the end of his earthly life, Jesus knew what the Fatherâ€™s will for him was and he accepted it. He freely gave his life to pay the price for our sin. He didnâ€™t have to but he did. He knew what the right thing to do was and he did it.
When your next challenge comes to do the right thing, I hope you will. Not because there is a reward or fame, or extra credit but just because it is the right thing to do.
Bob Collier is the pastor of North Salem Church of God.