Inspiring Generosity


Inspiring Generosity


11/9/2016

 
The Day After: The Essentials
 

I did not say my calligraphy was good.

Wow. That was brutal. Act justly. I went to bed at 11:00 and woke up at 1:00am. Love mercy. I refused to look at any media and instead searched for something to read – anything but politics. Walk humbly.
 
Right by my bed was The Message, Eugene Peterson’s lovely biblical translation. It was a sign. So I picked up the Good Book and went to the Psalms. Sure enough, most of them were about David praising God. I am sorry to say…I was in no mood for that.
 
But I persevered and stumbled upon Psalm 121. It was familiar but the modern phrasing threw me off. Then from childhood memory came, “I lift mine eyes to the hills. From whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Sometimes, only King James will do. There. Some solace in my bereft state.
 
Still unable to sleep, I searched my bedside again for more reading material. Right by my Vanity Fair (the new one with Adele on the cover) was a book that I have been reading and had nearly finished, save for a couple of chapters. Another sign. Finish the dang book! And so I did. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

McKeown lays out a strategy for people to determine what exactly is most essential in their lives. Last night, his chapter on “Focus” spoke to me (not sure it had to be at 2:30am, but God works in mysterious ways). McKeown used the example of a highly successful rugby coach who constantly asked his players: “What’s Important Now?” (WIN – get it?). WIN helped them focus on the game – to stay in the here and now – rather than dwell on past failures or the end score. Yep. I could relate.

So What’s Important Now for us as a people of faith after this – this debacle for some and (let’s face it) a sweet victory for others? I’m back with Micah 6:8. But I’m honing it down even more.
 
Act.
Love.
Walk.
 
Micah is calling us to get off our duffs.
 
Act: My living room and dining room were dusted this morning - beneficiaries of my trying to make something look better than how I am feeling. I acted, kind of. Now, I’m going to give myself 24 hours to wallow in self-pity. Then it’s back to working for justice, equality, and the oppressed – for Kingdom values.
 
Love: Love is the strongest force I know. In these next few weeks and years, I know it will be put to the test. But that’s who we as people of faith are. We are called to love the poor, the disenfranchised, the people we don’t understand (the very people who made the difference in this election). This is not a test. The call to love is real. And it’s going to be really, really hard.
 
Walk: Here are our marching orders. Move forward. Staying in one place is not an option. Too many things are at stake. There’s too much work to do.
 
Today I want to build a bunker and hide for four years. That’s today. Tomorrow, I’m going to pull up my big girl pants and get moving to do what Micah calls us so clearly to do: Act. Love. Walk. I’m not naïve. It ain’t going to be easy. But with you dear readers, we can find strength together. I trust you’re with me.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Where is her half gallon of Ben and Jerry’s when she needs it?  She was the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity.
 
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann

Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.

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