Suffice it to say, I went to church Sunday, as my wife had suggested the week prior, as we were pulling away from the side of U.S. Highway 80 after suffering a trailer tire blow out, a dead car batter

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 1, 2005

My wife’s point was that we were moving stuff on Sunday, when we should have been in church.

In her corner were a long stream of Sunday afternoon mishaps over the course of the past year-and-a-half when I first moved to Alabama. There were those Sunday night times I made the five-and-a-half hour drives from Mississippi (where the Ponderosa was) to Troy where I was working. I’d tell tales of near misses with deer strikes and sleep, but never really had any severe problems back then.

That all changed the Sunday we pulled away from the Ponderosa-West in transit for the new Ponderosa-East in Troy, the rented Uhaul loaded just so with most – not nearly all – of our possessions.

Email newsletter signup

Clifton and I made it within 30 miles of Meridian (on the west side) when Clifton, then 10, made A Wise Observation.

“Hey, this truck is puffing black smoke just like a train!”

Knowing only a little about engines, I was sure that a gasoline burner wasn’t close to the coal-fired steam variety Bubba was talking about.

Then, on came the engine oil indicator.

God didn’t intend for man to work on Sunday, and the people at Uhaul certainly must be extremely religious because they seemed to all subscribe to that theology.

The fella that towed the van from 30 miles the other side of Meridian to the front steps of Ponderosa-East in Troy said he almost exclusively towed for Uhaul in the Meridian area and was putting in for an award for this particular tow. To his recollection, it was the longest in Uhaul history.

At any rate, the history of Sunday trips that involved actual hauling of Lusk goods seems to still be snake bit.

My wife was willing to point that out nicely Sunday before last.

As I said, I not only made services, but Sunday School as well.

It was just as well I did because our pastor preached a great sermon about worldviews. A worldview provides a model through which we view our world and which guides us in our world.

One point in particular made an impression with me: that we must be involved in the world around us.

That “we” to which he was referring was, of course, Christians.

While I won’t come close to relating a sermon by a theologian, I though of how that message is applied to my “world.”

The things going on here in the Black Belt are a good example of people becoming involved – for right or wrong reasons.

Take the City of Demopolis’ current redistricting quandary. It’s a mess, actually. As of this writing, no word had come down from On High (I mean the Justice Department, here) whether or not the proposed district lines were fair.

From past experience, my impression of Justice’s activities with regard to preclearance is this: Justice doesn’t kick out a plan unless someone complains about it.

That’s just the simple truth. We don’t know who has complained about this plan, and may never know unless that person – or persons –

steps forward voluntarily.

It doesn’t really matter that several others are purportedly to have told Justice they think the plan is fair and equitable.

If we discount the possibility that the plan is unfair to individuals who do not speak English, then we are left with the only other alternative: is it fair to blacks and whites?

For better or worse, you have to admit that the complainent has acted according to his or her own worldview and has gotten involved.

How many times have we heard of the “silent majority.”

What the preacher was saying was that involvement in the world around us is the only way to make a difference.

Obviously, someone in or around Demopolis felt the redistricting plan wasn’t fair and took some action to become involved in the process.

That involvement may kill a redistricting plan, but it may also make the community a stronger place. It could also not kill the plan, affirming our city as a vibrant and progressive place.

My point is this: how complain if we’re not willing to push our own points.

Get involved. Ask questions and challenge the issues that we face

whether it’s a voting rights issue or something else. Let your voice be heard.