By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
The snow had set us back a bit, and we had to beat feet in order to get everything done. The book Friday Forward was so good that we were having a tough time confining it to the space on this page, but we prevailed by focusing on a chapter entitled “Man With A Plan.” However, before we got to that, Mayor Ronnie told me about a challenge that had been set forth in church the day before called “21 Days of Silence.” Its premise is that we need to be doing everything possible to quiet the chatter, distraction, etc., or perhaps better described as “listening for God in a world of noise.” It certainly is something that we could use in these times.
“We can’t afford to allow ourselves to get isolated,” said the mayor. “The stability of America is something that happens at the grassroots level,” he said. He went on to explain that no matter what is going on in DC or any other place, it is the small town with all its roots and relationships that keep things stable and keeps things going. “Where we eat together, worship together, touch each other. We have to hang on to that,” he said. “Stay connected,” said the mayor. “And, if you feel comfortable, get the vaccine when it becomes available. If you don’t, then don’t, but take care of yourself,” said Ronnie.
We moved on to the subject of this installment of Friday Forward, the chapter entitled “Man With A Plan.” This chapter talked about Ed Sheeran, the UK musician who has a phenomenal “rag-to-riches” story. Sheeran has now sold more than 150 million records, but there was a time when he crashed on the couches of friends, and even slept in a public transport depot near a heating duct outside of Buckingham Palace. One of the things that Ed’s dad told him was that he needed to go with “Plan A” and only “Plan A.” What lodged in Ed’s heart was that if he had a fallback plan, he would never really “go for it.”
So, Ed became the “Man With A Plan” and bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, and it was there that against all odds he got his break. It needs to be understood everything that Ed did was part of a well-thought out plan, a long game. Those who know him talk about his work ethic, the doggedness of his determination, and most importantly, his humility. He also said to his detractors, “Success is the best revenge for anything.”
What does success look like as it applies to us in these times? “Pulling together,” said the mayor. “We in North Alabama have come through tough times financially along with natural disasters. We don’t know how long this will last (COVID and everything else) and we must stay connected,” he said.
The mayor went on to mention the upcoming State of the City address which will be on January 28. It will be a virtual online event held at 2 p.m. The cost is $10, and reservations can be made at the Chamber of Commerce by calling 256-232-2600. “We are in good shape financially, want to work to improve the function of government, and most importantly, public safety and quality of life. We’ll talk about that at the address,” he said. “As far as the economy is concerned, please shop local as much as you can. Every bit helps,” added the mayor. The time had flown by, and it was time to pray. So we did, and then Ronnie rolled.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner