This week, in a way that I don’t remember in my 63 years, things are melting down around us on a hourly basis. I prayerfully thought, “What am I going to say? By the time we go to print, my thoughts could very well be a complete non sequitur, maybe more so than usual. People are flat done with this election cycle, even in Limestone County. I can’t bear the ‘nails-on-the-chalkboard’ sound of Hillary Clinton’s voice one more moment, and I am fully comfortable as an Alabamian being a ‘bitter clinger,’ contentedly experiencing life in my condo on the top floor of the Deplorable Basket. The view from there is glorious. What can I say that will be true to the purpose of Athens Now, and that is to bring ‘information and inspiration’ to our readers?”
I thrashed around for awhile, and then two words came to mind: salt and light. No matter what happens on November 8th, there is a very real way that nothing will change. We still have the responsibility to be salt and light wherever we are. But, what does that mean?
Let’s talk about salt first. What is the purpose of salt? To give you high blood pressure? No, salt basically has two functions: to preserve as well as to add flavor. For centuries, before there was refrigeration, salt was what kept the humans of our planet from starving to death in the winter. Meat was salted so it wouldn’t spoil. And, we have all had that experience of eating something that “needed salt.” There can be such a strong sense of “so close, and yet so far,” when you eat something that is unable to burst forth with flavor because its powerful ally is missing action.
If one chooses to stretch the concept of “preserving” just a touch, here are some other things salt can do: get rid of flower residue in a vase, keep wicker looking new, give long life to a broom, remove wine or grease stains from your carpet, empower you to make your own brass polish, remove water marks from wood, and even restore a sponge! So, here’s the obvious life lesson: if your personal nightmare is that Hillary becomes President, then make yourself useful in a tangible way. For heaven’s sake, and I do mean that literally, don’t “let your salt lose its saltiness.” If you do, you are asking for being trod under in a rather unpleasant manner, and that warning comes from the One who loves you most.
What about light? What does it do? Light illuminates, light guides, it warms, it cooks, it cuts through steel as well as aneurisms. It is the cousin of sound, it is the basis of color, it helps plants grow, it sanitizes, and it refreshes. If your idea of complete disaster is having Donald move out of his hotel into the White House, then “let your light so shine before men,” and make sure that your light is indeed light, and is in no way part of the darkness you see all around you.
Choose to preserve and serve, warm and guide as you are feeling led from on high; then live or die, you will be just fine.