Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Finish strong

The 45-minute funeral service Wednesday morning for Amarillo College president Dr. Steven Jones was a tribute of humor, love, inspiration and spiritual hope. The music, from Dan Baker and Lanny Allen and the AC vocal jazz ensemble, was moving.

It became clear how bravely and hard Jones fought his battle with terminal cancer. Until Wednesday, it was probably known by only family, close friends and a few work colleagues.

Dr. Howard Batson, pastor of First Baptist Church, officiated the service. He read several times from a journal that Jones kept during the last year. On one visit to Dr. Jones, Batson said he was struck so much by a quote from Jones that he wrote it down when he got to his car.

Jones told him, "I used to think we were born to live and died along the way. Now I think we were born to die and live along the way."

Jones was a former track runner. He prided himself in finishing strong, and as he wrote in his journal, he was determined to finish this race strong as well.

And that he did.

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