Call to arms

Plan A, walking out of the Quorum Court meeting this past week, was an editorial regarding the budget pressures on the county, how things were tight and getting tighter, “tighten your belts” or something dire like that.

But we’ve slept on it, and with rest and distance our vision has matured.

Monday the library posted on social media a word of thanks because someone, the specifics were unknown when the post was made, had mowed its lawn over the weekend. This, too, added to the maturation thing.

Justice Brian Tatum (who’s going to hate that he got name-checked in an editorial) made a point at the court meeting about volunteering before the vote was taken which would consolidate two volunteer fire departments.

“If you’re out and about and able to assist you should do it,” Tatum said, concerned that VFDs were “losing members left and right.”

And yes, we are in that time. For whatever reason people don’t engage in community like they did back in our parent’s day, and with that things are drying up. Volunteer Fire Departments, like the one asking to be consolidated, are getting low on volunteers. The reasons are what they are (the demographics are what they are) but the point remains that a community – such as this one, facing, shall we call it, economic strain – must, absolutely must, be able to count on its members.

That’s us, the community must be able to count on us.

And at some level we are able to do so. The recent turnout for the Devon Wooten service as a case in point, the whoever it was mowing the library grass as another, the hope that the right people will roll up their sleeves and the animal shelter, on very thin ice, will be able to continues past its projected June 1 shutdown.

And yeah, showing up for a meeting at your local VFD won’t hurt. Nobody’s asking you to Rambo in and put out the blaze, but they very well could use someone like you to help with the day-to-day stuff.

Show up once in a while at a government meeting, find out what’s going on in the county and/or in your city.

Okay, okay, maybe we’re arm twisting a little hard. Fair enough, try this: Clean up your yard. Drain the fuel from the tank of that old truck you’re going to fix up when you have the time and money. Arbor Day’s coming up, heck, plant a tree.

Still a little too twisty? Okay, okay, fair enough, try this: Hold the door for someone, use your turn signals, smile, fer’ cryin’ out loud.

We want more. We all want more. As a community we want more, more nice things, we want more opportunity, we want a comfortable future. The least, the very least we can do, is act like ambassadors for the community when we’re out and about in it.

Extend yourself; exert yourself.

People are working, hard and often, to attract jobs. Wouldn’t their jobs be easier if they knew they could count on those arriving to scout locations to find a well-kept community with an engaged population? That’s going to take you, nobody can do that for you.

So yes, what happens next is as much up to you as anyone. Volunteer, engage, and use the energy of your caring for something other than social media ax-grinding to actually make things happen, happen in a real, tangible, (and here’s the word) positive, way. Participate.

And again, you show up at a VFD meeting you might make some new friends. And life’s always better with friends.

Romans 14 (NIV)

The Weak and the Strong

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,

‘every knee will bow before me;

every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.