What Makes Ronnie Roll: Get To, Or Got To?

4-19-2013 1-31-09 PMWhen Mayor Marks and I discussed the title of this article, we were torn between the title above, and “Living Like You’re Dead.” We agreed that though both concepts were complimentary, the latter was more prone to being misunderstood, so we went with the “Big G.”

“Get to or got to” has to do with the campaign of the Mayor to change his own “self-talk.” So often we talk from the standpoint of obligation rather than opportunity, and it can become a real downer in a quick like fashion. “I’ve got to….” fill in the blank. Go to work? Pick up the kids? Cook dinner? Mow the lawn? What would happen if we saw even the most mundane chore as a blessing, if for no other reason than we are healthy enough to do it, and the people we love are still alive and need us?

The reminder came about as a result of the testimony of Ronnie’s cousin, Sammy Gilbreath. Sammy is a Baptist minister, and performed the marriage ceremony of Ronnie and Sandra Marks 45 years ago at First Baptist Church in Athens. He has gone on to have a solid ministry, has preached the gospel all over the world, and then a medical time bomb was discovered in the form of a cardiovascular aneurysm. He is literally living on borrowed time, and he and his family had to take a hard look at how they were going to live out his last days together. As a family they came up with the slogan “Living Like You’re Dead,” which simply means living life with the intention of living and loving well, knowing that we are not ever promised that we will wake up on this side, and our “lives and times are in His hands.”

The Mayor asked his cousin if he “was going to be around tomorrow,” and Sammy replied in the “theoretical affirmative.” Mayor Ronnie then invited Sammy to come to the most recent City Council meeting and open the session in prayer, which he did. The room was therefore reminded that they and we have a sacred charge to do our best with what we have to make life better for those around us, and then ourselves.

So, what kinds of “Get to/Got to” choices is the Mayor facing? He and a team from Athens are on their way to New York City to make a presentation to Standard and Poor’s that would result in the refinancing of a bond which would save the city nearly a million dollars. He is saying with a grin, “I GET to go to New York City!” (And, I understand from experience the exercise of will that is necessary to use the word “get” when it comes to going to the Big Apple.)

He also mentioned that we are on track with the A.T.R.I.P. grants for road and infrastructure improvements, which will mean millions of dollars to better our berg.

As always, we closed our time in prayer, and I would invite you to join me in asking God to bless and keep Ronnie and the team while they go fight for us in the jungles of New York. That is something each of us, should we choose, “gets” to do!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

5-3-2013 3-14-07 PM