In my mind I'm thinking about multiplication, riches, and the future. This past weekend we created an event to continue a beautiful tradition of community love through the 26th annual 5K, Youth 1 mile race, and 2 mile walk. We tweaked it a bit and named it the Autumn March for ALS. Our generous little 'burg had given unselfishly for 25 consecutive years. They didn't disappoint this past Saturday! As we started this adventure, we had hoped to clear $500 for the ALS Foundation of West Tennessee. We were scrounging and sweating about shirt and trophy prices. A month later we had amassed around $3,000 and were so giddy! Then my personal friend and recently retired director of Dyersburg Hospital and organizational dynamo, Carrie Beld, met us for our weekly lunch at Lock's Store. She herself began a furious "March" to contact local physicians and medical facilities. Dynamo maybe not strong enough of a title. She tripled our efforts. After her contributors, the total sponsors count was tipping the $9000 mark. This is just how this little committee with the help of God multiplied "loaves and fish" for the miraculously, beautiful day of October 15th, 2016. "There is something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear. It's time to Stop, Hey! What's that sound?" You can finish the song! It was LOVE of community, friends, and family. It is so, so clear now. I, Sarah Alley, wanted a day of love, peace, fellowship, free food, and activities for all. It came to fruition. Thank you for helping me "live not die" with ALS/MND.
Now I'm on to riches! This morning I read about riches. Luke 12 was my daily reading. Ironic? No, not at all. I'm getting used to hearing God talk with me each morning through meditation and scriptures. Are you rich? Do you have a big bank account? New car? Fine home? Having these things is rich by mankind standards, but what is rich in the eyes of God? When you give merchants money for their wares, does it multiply? Heavens no! Now let's flip the script. When you give to your fellow man or woman hugs, pats on the back, a meal, your pocket change, your time, your empathy, pay a utility bill anonymously, your ears for listening to their woes, the shirt or coat off of your back, or just plain old love does it multiply? A resounding YES! You see my students, these are the riches in which God is concerned. Remember this, "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more." That's Luke 12:48. Dyersburgians, we are entrusted with much in our community, but fear not because in our "mom and pop" businesses, area corporate businesses, local Union Mission, McIver's Grant Public Library, the YMCA, Neighborhood Activity Center and Bruce Center, local banks, our Dyersburg and Dyer County school systems, and Catholic and Protestant churches are "vested" in our children and community regardless of which side of town we park our cars. Just remember, we look at the same sunset regardless if we are a "greaser or soc." Remember the Outsiders? "Stay Gold Pony Boy" because nothing gold can stay, but my friends we are spinning our own gold.
The future can be a scary place. We all have our own personal meltdowns worrying about the "What ifs?" Well with ALS I know my dash and my pALS dashes will be shortened and each breath is a gift. We become clairvoyant about living in the present, not the future. That's a true gift. You see the future is not ours; it's our children's. We have to teach them well. The Autumn March for ALS was a huge, tangled display of love. Am I worried if the Autumn March will "March on" the third Saturday of October next year? No, I've taught my children well. One of my most precious former students, Sara Jo Mason, asked me after being the M.C. of door prizes, "Ms. Alley, will you let me do this again next year?" Yes, my sweet Sara Jo, yes. See you next year and let's go big or go home. I want 500 participants October 21, 2017!
Quote of the Day:
"What makes night within us may leave stars." Victor Hugo
Sarah Anderson Alley
Dedicated to all who walked, ran, volunteered, donated, and supported this year's Autumn March for ALS.