“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” – Stephen Grellet
Those were the lines that inspired Ronnie Gaylord to compose a song version of them. Hence the birth of the tune, “I Will Never Pass This Way Again.” A prominent Quaker missionary named Stephen Grellet was arguably the one who authored the saying. Perhaps the most notable version of the song was that of Glen Campbell’s. The “Jesus and Me” singer first recorded the song in 1972 on his eponymous album Glen Travis Campbell. This original recording charted on Billboard Hot 100 peaking at No. 61 on September 30, 1972. Then again, the song appeared on his later records namely Essential, Vol. 3 and The Capitol Albums Collection, Vol. 2.
The Message of the Song
Each moment that God created carries with them opportunities. Realizing that any single moment that has passed can’t be brought back again urges us to seize it while it still lasts. Every moment unattended is tantamount to countless opportunities missed. This is similar to our having only one life. Such life then must be lived fully and meaningfully. More specifically, a well-spent life is one that’s lived in a righteous way. After all, the main purpose of our existence is to live in accordance to our Creator’s will. By the time we depart from this world, those we left behind will best remember us by the way we lived our life. Therefore, we have to make such a good one. And in case we’re heading in the wrong direction, let this hymn redirect our path.
I will pass this way but once
If there’s any good that I can do
Let me do it now
For I’ll never pass this way again
I will see this day but once
If there’s any kindness I can show
Let me show it now
For I’ll never see this day again
Tomorrow may be too late my friend
To do all the good that you planned
So reach out to those who need you
And lend them a helping hand
I will know this world but once
If there’s any love that I can give
Let me give it now
Oh, Lord please show me how
For I’ll never know this world
I’ll never see this day
I’ll never pass this way again
Listen to Glen Campbell’s record of “I Will Never Pass This Way Again” below.
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glen campbell, I Will Never Pass this Way Again, Stephen Grellet